In a jump much like Jason Kidd or Derek Fishers’, Becky Hammon elevated from player to coach — it’s just that she upended gender precedents in doing so. Becky Hammon was hired as the first full-time female assistant coach on Aug. 5. She spoke about her hire with The Boston Globe.
“I know Coach Pop has made it very clear to me that I’m being hired because of my basketball IQ and because I’m qualified,” she said to The Boston Globe. “He says it just so happens you are a woman.”
Hammon, a 15-year veteran of the WNBA, spent some time with the Spurs recovering from a torn left ACL and will retire from the San Antonio Stars following this season. The 37-year-old believes proximity was a helping factor.
“I think this happens to be a situation where they have been observing me for years playing down here,” Hammon said. “They decided this can work. There’s a lot of things that go into it besides ‘This would be a cool idea.’ It’s got to fit and it’s got to be the right fit and it just so happens that it is down here — and the environment they create.
“It is big and I definitely hope little girls can say, ‘Hey look people can do whatever they put their mind to.’ It’s exciting and honestly it’s too early to tell what kind of [future] impact it is going to have.”
Greg Popovich is a pragmatist and the Spurs just won an NBA Championship. He knows coaching potential when he sees it.
“I love the competitiveness, I love being part of a team, I love game-planning, and I’ve always been passionate about basketball and helping people,” she said. “Coaching is just a very natural marriage and that’s basically how I came to that conclusion.”