Becky Hammon makes NBA history as the first woman head coach
History has been made in the National Basketball Association. Following San Antonio Spurs’ coach Gregg Poppovich’s ejection from Wednesday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers, assistant coach Becky Hammon filled in, making her the first woman head coach of a game.
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San Antonio Spurs’ assistant coach Becky Hammon made history as the first woman head coach of an NBA game after Gregg Poppovich was ejected Wednesday night
Becky Hammon has served as the Spurs assistant coach since 2014 and quickly became a favourite of fans and players alike. Hammon is a 6-time WNBA All-Star who played for both the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Stars during her 15 years in the league.
In 2018, then-Spurs player Pau Gasol penned an open letter for The Players’ Tribune in which he made a case for why Hammon was among the most qualified women to earn a head coaching position:
“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.”
While Gregg Poppovich, who turns 72 next month, has shot down plans of retiring any time soon, Hammon is frontrunner to serve as his successor. Earlier this year, she was rumored to take over as head coach of the New York Knicks, a role that ultimately went to former Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau.
This season, the Spurs look to return to the playoffs after missing them for only the second time in Poppovich’s 23-year tenure as coach, the first of which was during his first year coaching.
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