Barbara Turner will chase Dream beyond Rockets

Barbara Turner will chase Dream beyond Rockets

PORTLAND, Ore. — When Barbara Turner joined the Rockets’ staff as a development assistant this season, she considered it a dream job. Still does.

She will leave it after one season, but it took a Dream job to make the change and fully commit to a career that a year ago she was still just considering. Turner will become the lead assistant for the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA in a rapid career ascension since moving from player to coach.

“All of it was because of this season,” Turner said. “Everything. Everything.

“I learned that I actually love it as much as I do playing. I build relationships with the players. Josh (Christopher) was giving me a hard time just now, but he’s happy for me. He said I traded on him, that I’m not going to be there to train him. But it’s exciting. Everything about it is exciting.”

Turner, 37, had for several offseasons been hesitant to join the Rockets full time because it meant ending her playing career. She had worked with Rockets lead assistant John Lucas since he was the Cavaliers’ coach from 2001 to 2003 and had been working with him as a development coach for several years, getting to know Rockets general manager Rafael Stone.

Last summer, Stone brought Turner on as an intern, adding her to the developmental staff this season to work under Lucas and Rockets coach Stephen Silas.

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