- Becky Hammon says she’s ready to be the first woman head coach in NBA history.
- Hammon, currently the Spurs’ assistant coach, is just waiting for the opportunity to arise.
- She was the first woman hired full-time to an NBA coaching staff and the first woman acting head coach.
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Becky Hammon has made history many times during her WNBA and NBA careers. But the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach won’t be satisfied until she shatters one of the highest glass ceilings in all of sports: Becoming an NBA head coach.
All signs suggest she’ll be the first woman in history to assume the helm for a major professional men’s sports team. Hammon has become known as one of the most highly respected basketball minds in the NBA since joining the Spurs staff in 2014. Last year, she became the first woman acting head coach in the history of the NBA.
Hammon said she’s ready to be a head coach right now – she just needs a franchise that’s ready, too.
“This ball is never moving fast enough, in my opinion,” Hammon said during an interview with NBC’s Hoda Kotb, after she was named to the network’s “2021 Inspiration List.” “People don’t like doing something new and different. It’s uncomfortable.”
Hammon’s bona fides speak for themselves. Now 44, the legendary San Antonio Stars point guard was a six-time WNBA All-Star and was selected as one of the league’s 20 best players of all time. After Hammon tore her ACL in 2013, Gregg Popovich invited her to spend the WNBA season she was about to miss sitting in on Spurs team and coaching staff activities.
Popovich, himself a Hall of Fame coach, quickly recognized Hammon’s knack for play calling. She assumed a full-time role with the NBA franchise the following year.
That made her just the second woman in league history to join an NBA coaching staff, and the first to join full-time. In the seven years since, Hammon has achieved other firsts for women in coaching: In 2015, she became the first woman to coach an NBA summer league team, and the following year, she became the first woman featured on an All-Star coaching staff.
“In some ways, I feel like it could be in a year,” she said. “In other ways, it could be 10 years. I’m not really sure.”
But she added: “What I’m sure of is I’ll be ready.”
Watch Hammon’s interview with Kotb below: