Becky Hammon is the first woman to head coach an NBA game.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach took over when Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected midway through a game vs. the LA Lakers on December 30 of 2020. Regarding this, Hammon told NowThis News, "honestly, at the moment, I was trying to win the game. I say this a lot, but I try not to think about the huge picture and the huge aspect of it because it can get overwhelming." She also added, "It's my job to go in there and be focused for those guys and make sure that I'm helping them do the things that will help us win."
Hammon played in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 1999 to 2014 and has been a National Basketball Association (NBA) assistant coach since 2014.
"I got traded here in 2007, so I've been in San Antonio, part of the Spurs and sports organization with the Stars for 13 years," the head coach told the source. League analysts widely agree with Hammon being hired for this position.
Hammon's moment in the spotlight received widespread praise. Kamala Harris, the United States vice president-elect, wrote the coach a welcoming message on her Twitter account "Congrats, @BeckyHammon. You may be the first, but I know you certainly won't be the last."
Hammon is making an unprecedented crossover move from playing in WBNA to coaching in the NBA. She rose from obscurity to an outstanding pro basketball career.
The guard from South Dakota was recruited out of high school and undrafted out of Colorado State, but Hammon clawed her way to super-stardom with an arsenal of skills that defied her size: 5'6.
Hammon's skills left her in the top five on a variety of WNBA career leader boards. She was assigned as a free agent to the New York Liberty, a defensive winning team. She played understudy and apprentice to legendary point guard Teresa Weatherspoon.
Young Becky would rise from benchwarmer to contributor over her first two seasons. In 2014, after a first-round sweep and emotional farewell from Minnesota, Hammon retired from the WNBA without a championship to her name. She entered the league on a contending team, but during an early era of WNBA powerhouses. However, she became a star for some great teams, but teams continuously ran into injuries and suffered a few heartbreaking last-second outcomes. All that denied Becky Hammon a WNBA ring in her playing days, but it took nothing away from her remarkable story, profound legacy, and her next frontier.
In August of 2014, she became the first full-time salaried female coach in NBA history. Hammon earned the position by impressing Spurs head coach and five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich with her work ethic, basketball IQ, and ability to relate to his players.
She quickly established herself as a great asset to the team and earned the opportunity to be the Spurs summer league team's head coach in 2015. Hammon continued to impress and led the team to the 2015 Las Vegas summer league championship and was also named the 2016 NBA all-star coaching staff. Her most recent achievement as the first female NBA head coach is a major success and proves that talent doesn't rely on genders but talent.