The NBA and the National Basketball Coaches Association are creating a partnership and program intended to prepare and illuminate a more complete pool of future NBA coaches.
The NBA and NBCA want to better train, prepare and identify coaches among groups that are underrepresented, including women, minorities and those of all religions and sexual orientations.
"We are not talking about a quota system," said NBCA president Rick Carlisle. "Rival leagues have proven that mandates and demands for diverse hiring practices do not work. Our goal is an absolute equal opportunity for all our members to develop their skills on a level playing field."
The number of women coaching in the NBA has increased over the past few years.
The genesis of the idea started in February, when Carlisle reported to commissioner Adam Silver and NBA president of social responsibility Kathy Behrens that a number of the NBA's African-American assistant coaches believed they weren't getting earned consideration to interview for head-coaching jobs in the NBA.
"We talked not only about the people not getting interviews, but also about giving the current group of assistants some extra professional development for what's become more intense and complex interview processes than some of those of the past," Behrens told ESPN.