The Las Vegas Aces have defeated the Connecticut Sun in the 2022 WNBA Finals, giving the city of Las Vegas its first ever championship in any professional sport. The Aces were led by Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, who averaged 18.3 points and 6 assists, while dropping 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists in the deciding Game Four of the series. However, while Gray led the Aces on the court, Becky Hammon led them from the sidelines.
If you’re a fan of the WNBA, then you likely new Hammon long before she became a Head Coach; if you’re not a fan of the WNBA, then hopefully that changes right now! Hammon played 16 years in the WNBA, starting in 1999 and retiring in 2014 at the age of 37. A six-time All-Star throughout her career, Hammon had career averages of 13 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal per game on 43.8% shooting from the field. Her modest averages don’t fully show how amazing she was, as she was twice named to the All-WNBA First Team, and twice to the All-WNBA Second Team, while recently being named a Top 15 player in WNBA history. If that isn’t an accomplished player, then I don’t know who is.
Post playing career, in 2014, Hammon was hired as an assistant coach by the San Antonio Spurs and Greg Poppovich. She became an important addition to the Spurs coaching staff, which has turned many former assistants into NBA Head Coaches, such as Ime Udoka, Monty Williams, and Mike Budenholzer. In 2015, Hammon coached the Spurs’ Summer League team to the Summer League Championship; clearly, she was doing something right.
Hammon would spend seven seasons with the Spurs, and technically became the first female Head Coach in the NBA after she took over during a game in 2020, in which Pop was ejected in the second quarter.
So, despite seven years of assistant coaching, Hammon didn’t receive a single head coaching offer from an NBA team. Was it sexism at play? Were there other factors against her? Was she even that good of a coach?
That last question was answered this season, as Hammon, in her first ever year as a WNBA Head Coach, led the Aces to their first-ever WNBA title. Disciples of Poppovich always do well in coaching, whether in the NBA or other basketball leagues. So, as the title of this suggests, Hammon needs some respect put on her name in the NBA world. She’s a fabulous coach, and deserves as much an opportunity to coach an NBA team as anyone else. If you don’t think she’s qualified, then just look at the resume I’ve listed, and think again.
Do you think any NBA teams will offer Becky Hammon a head coaching job in the next year or two? Let me know in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog, and as always, have an awesome day!
2 thoughts on “Put Some Respect on Becky Hammon’s Name!”
Good history lesson, thank you for that. Becky Hammon certainly has the experience to be a head coach and was an excellent player. I personally think a team should do whatever it takes to hire a proven coach with a winning record regardless of gender. Katie Sowers of the NFL San Francisco 49’s is on their coaching staff and is doing a fantastic job. NBA teams will make excuses and you will hear “well it will be a problem in the locker room, or we will need to make special hotel accommodations when traveling, or the NBA plays a different game”. Thats all bull crap, a person with her credentials must be given an opportunity. I say, NBA teams in need of a coach must think outside the box and take a giant history making leap forward and hire Becky Hammon as their next Head Coach.
No way this decade! There’s a reason wnba makes a fraction of what nba players make. Until that changes, women will be seen as not capable or worthy of holding a “man’s” job