Celtics assistant Kara Lawson hired as Duke women’s basketball head coach

Grizzlies assistant coach Niele Ivey left for Notre Dame.

Now, the NBA is losing another assistant coach to women’s college basketball – the Celtics’ Kara Lawson.

There’s a pipeline developing between female NBA assistant coaches and women’s college basketball. Florida also pursued Spurs assistant Becky Hammon a few years ago.

If Lawson and Ivey want to become NBA head coaches, this could be a step back. There’s a well-worn path from NBA assistant coach to NBA head coach. Jumping from women’s college basketball head coach to NBA head coach would be unprecedented.

But Duke women’s basketball head coach is a premier job, and it looks like a step up from her position in Boston.

Lawson sounded sharp as a TV analyst for the Wizards and, after getting hired by the Celtics last summer, quickly impressed in Boston. She’ll probably succeed with the Blue Devils.

If she does, that should create even more opportunities for her – including back in the NBA.

Last year, the Cavaliers hired Cal women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb as an assistant coach. The pipeline can go both ways.