From WNBA to NBA: Looking at the Journey of San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Becky Hammon

Published 01/06/2021, 1:00 PM EST
Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon talks during a timeout in the first half against the Los Angeles Lakers at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports


On December 30, 2020, Becky Hammon became a part of NBA history. Following Gregg Popovich’s ejection, she stepped in, becoming the first female acting head coach in NBA history. She has been an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs since 2014 and was the first full-time female assistant coach.

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Hammon started her journey as a point guard in the WNBA in 1999. During her playing days, she was one of the best players in the league. She is a two-time All-WNBA First Team member, a one-time All-WNBA Second Team member, and also made six All-Star appearances. She also finished as the assists leader during the 2006-07 season.

Not only did she play in the WNBA, but also for leagues across Europe in Russia and Spain. During her stint in the WNBA, she played for two teams, the New York Liberty and the San Antonio Stars, which was her first connection with the franchise. She retired in 2014, ending a successful 15-year playing career.

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From San Antonio Stars to San Antonio Spurs

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Hammon was roped in as an assistant by Popovich in 2014 after she had expressed a desire to join coaching. A year later, she was handed over the reins of their Summer League team, becoming the first female head coach in summer league history. She made the best out of this opportunity and led her team to the title.

Wherever she goes, whatever she does, Hammon ensures it is always historic. Following that Summer League victory, later that season, she became the first woman to serve on an All-Star Game coaching staff.

Since then, she has been one of the most vocal members of the Spurs coaching staff. But many are surprised that she hasn’t got her own team yet. Hammon came close to joining the Bucks as a GM, but the deal fell through. Despite this, she has continued to work hard and has continued to build a solid resume.

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Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay (left) talks to assistant coach Becky Hammon before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Lakers game, Spurs’ Dejounte Murray spoke about how he believes Hammon is on the right track and will soon get her deserved spot as a head coach. He said, “She is definitely on the right road, and I think everyone here appreciates her. She is setting an example for every woman out there.”

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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