On Monday, the Indiana Pacers announced the hiring of Kelly Krauskopf as the team’s new assistant general manager. This move makes Krauskopf the first female assistant general manager in the NBA. Krauskopf had been the president and general manager of the Indiana Fever for 17 years before relinquishing her role as GM to coach Pokey Chatman in November 2017.
OFFICIAL: We have hired Kelly Krauskopf as Assistant General Manager.@FeverPrez has spent the last 19 seasons as the @IndianaFever’s top executive and oversaw the Pacers NBA 2K League team in the last year.https://t.co/P0fSFPIdUa
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) December 17, 2018
“My past experience has shown me that building winning teams and elite level culture is not based on gender – it is based on people and processes. I am excited to join the Pacers as we continue building the best NBA franchise in the business,” Krauskopf said via a news release from the Pacers.
Hiring women for front office positions in men’s leagues is a big deal, not because there’s any reason we shouldn’t be there, but because historically we haven’t been. It’s important to recognize women’s achievements, though I sometimes worry that focusing on gender can take away from the fact that an individual is the most qualified person—not woman, but person—to do the job. When asked for her thoughts about how we in the media cover these types of moves, Krauskopf shared a similar sentiment.
“Nobody wants to do this just because you’re a girl,” Krauskopf said. “I want to earn it, but that’s the way I was brought up. You earn it, and if you get your chance, you take it. I think that’s a big piece for me. This is not just checking a box. This is really important in terms of what I want to be able to do to help the team, the franchise. And that’s all. That’s it for me.”