So I’ve got this coach. Championship-level player in both college and the pros, sounds pretty good so far right?
Bronze medal winner in basketball at the Olympics and inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, again sounds like a perfect fit somewhere in the NBA. Rated as having one of the highest basketball IQ’s around and has learned at the feet of one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, wow is there anything they can’t do?
Even won a Summer League championship this past summer, alright, sign me up.
That should be the response of any owner worth their salt, so why is this person not an NBA Head Coach? Probably because this person is none other than Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon. Yes, she has already broken down doors by becoming the first full-time female assistant coach in ANY of the four major sports in North America.
But if she is that good, that talented and has been groomed by one of the NBA’s great coaches in Greg Popovich, should the lack of a penis really mean the lack of a Head Coaching job?
I spoke to a lot of current and former NBA players about this very topic, and while none of them wanted to go on record, they all said pretty much the same thing. No matter how brilliant she is, or how well she knows X’s and O’s, the stigma of listening to a woman in a “man’s” world is too much.
To a man, each player said while individually they would have no problem listening to or respecting Becky Hammon, but in a group dynamic it would be impossible to be in the middle of a game and watching Doc Rivers or George Karl on the other sideline doling out instructions and they have to listen to Becky Hammon.
Fair or unfair, it is the way it is in this macho B.S. type of world. Players would rather have recycled coaches like Alvin Gentry or Scott Skiles rather take a chance on someone who could be a better coach but less testosterone in Hammon.
If she was an African-American or Latino male and she didn’t get a chance to be a head coach, there would be outrage in this country like you have NEVER heard, and rightfully so. Hell, it was that outrage that brought about the Rooney Rule in the NFL.
Of course, while I see the need for the rule, I also think it is a JOKE. How can you have equality when the very rule itself separates groups? As soon as you lump one group of people under one label, equality goes out the window. But I digress as this is NOT the topic at hand.
The issue here is whether Becky Hammon or ANY woman for that matter could or should be a Head Coach in the NBA. I think we have already answered the should part of it, Hell yes she should. But now the question is WILL it happen?
In order for a woman to be an NBA head coach, two things have to happen:
First, the owner has to have a set of jumbo-sized proverbial testicles big enough to not care what anybody thinks and be able to have his coaches back no matter who the players on the team are.
If the star player on the team refuses to listen to a female coach, the owner has to be able to say to that player, you don’t want to play for her, then find somewhere else to play.
Second, the coach has to be like Jackie Robinson. Not only brilliant at their job, but willing to take the abuse of fans, opposing players and at times, her own team. If the owner does have those balls, he will do what Branch Rickey did for Jackie Robinson and rid the team of anyone that is a rebel rouser and is making trouble.
The issue becomes, if the woman succeeds it is awesome because she will open the door to others. However, if she fails, it will be so difficult for any other woman to break down those walls.
Is there an owner out there that has that big a set of balls? I think if we look toward a certain owner in Texas, we will find him, now it is just a question of when.