Becky Hammon hired as NBA assistant coach
Bobby Martinez – Sports Reporter
For the first time in NBA history, a woman has been hired as an assistant coach.
Becky Hammon, who played in the WNBA for 16 seasons, announced her retirement this month from the WNBA. Hammon is a 6-time WNBA all-star who played for the New York Liberty followed by the San Antonio Stars. This hiring was shocking to say the least, but San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, feels she is the right person for the job.
“Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball I.Q., work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs,” Coach Gregg Popovich said Tuesday, in a statement regarding the signing of Hammon.
This isn’t the first time a woman had been a part of a NBA coaching staff. In fact, Lisa Boyer joined John Lucas’s coaching staff in 2002 as a volunteer coach. Hammon’s situation is different, she is going to be a fully paid employee.
But the question remains, “Can a woman be successful at the NBA level?” There’s no question that if any team can pull this off, it will be the Spurs and Popovich. Hammon said in a press conference Tuesday, that she knows this job is going to be difficult but is up to the challenge.
“It’s a tremendous challenge, and it comes with tremendous responsibility,” said Hammon. “There have been so many other women that are doing really, really great things, and I’m just kind of following in their paths.”
If you can recall, Hammon suffered a knee injury during the 2013 season where she then had thoughts of a career after the WNBA. The Spurs allowed Hammon to rehab in their facility and also participate in practices and film review. Hammon said, the whole experience was , “an internship.”
Will this open up doors for other females to play a part in the NBA?