Becky Hammon Becomes The First Female Assistant Head Coach In All 4 Major U.S. Sports
She may have a head coaching gig in her sights as well.
In 2014, when Becky Hammon was hired by the San Antonio Spurs, she became the first female full-time assistant coach in all four of the major U.S. sports. Now, she’s progressed to the front row of coaches’ seats as the Spurs’ new assistant head coach.
The promotion came after Gregg Popovich’s assistant, James Borrego, moved on to become the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets.
Photo by Platon Shilikov/Wikimedia Commons.
Hammon played 16 seasons in the WNBA, where she was a six-time All-Star and the league’s 9th-leading scorer. She was originally hired by the Spurs to coach its Summer League team, which she took to a championship.
While becoming the first female assistant coach in NBA history is a historic achievement, Hammon’s ascent may not be over this offseason. The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly plan to interview her for a head coaching position this offseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks plan to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon for the franchise’s head coaching job, league sources tell ESPN. Hammon is the NBA’s first female assistant coach -- and now will be the first to interview to be a head coach.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 5, 2018\n
For those who doubt Hammon’s abilities and chalked her promotion up to a publicity stunt, Pau Gasol begs to differ.
He wrote an open letter for The Players Tribune singing Hammon’s praises:
“I’ve been in the NBA for 17 years. I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.”