The San Antonio Spurs hired WNBA veteran Becky Hammon as an assistant coach on Tuesday, making her the first full-time, paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff. Hammon will be retiring at the end of her 16-year WNBA career with the San Antonio Stars’ season.
As soon as this happens, she will join the staff of the defending NBA champions.
Hammons will be working alongside coach Gregg Popovich on scouting, game-planning and the day-to-day grind of practice like no woman has ever done before in the NBA.
As a 5-foot-6 point guard, Hammon has never had the experience of shattering a backboard with a dunk but she has a great basketball IQ, work ethics and interpersonal skills. All these attributes will be a great benefit for the Spurs. Hammon stated that she is up for the challenges.
She is known to think outside the box and is excited for this opportunity. This makes her a perfect fit for the Spurs organization.
Last season, Hammon suffered a torn ACL that kept her from playing so this gave her an opportunity to attend Spurs practices and get very involved with the team in watching film and sitting behind the bench at home games.
Hammon has been friends with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker since competing in an NBA All-Star shooting competition in 2008. This will help her transition into her role.
Hammon is a smart, hard-nosed and tough-minded player that makes her perfect for this position. She made six All-Star teams and averaged 13.1 points in her 16 seasons with the Stars and New York Liberty.
It is only a matter of time before the NBA has a woman coach as Hammon has opened the door of opportunity for more female assistant coaches in the NBA.
Hammon isn’t the first female coach in the NBA. During the 2001-02 season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Lucas brought Lisa Boyer into the team’s practices and some of the games. Boyer didn’t travel with the team nor did she get paid.
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