Earlier this season, Becky Hammon made history when she became the first woman to act as head coach in an NBA game. After Gregg Popovich was ejected from the San Antonio Spurs’ matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers in late December, Hammon stepped up and took over for the remainder of the game.
Soon, she may be running a team herself. The longtime assistant coach is in line to interview for vacant positions with the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Chauncey Billups, Mike D’Antoni, Brent Barry and Dawn Staley are also candidates for the Trail Blazers’ job.
Following her retirement from the WNBA in 2014, Hammon joined the Spurs’ staff as an assistant. At the time, she was just the second woman to ever have a coaching position in the NBA. In the years since she has served as head coach of the Spurs’ Summer League team, and was promoted to the front of the Spurs’ bench in 2018. While she’s proud of those accomplishments, Hammon has made it clear that she’s ready to be a full-time head coach in the NBA.
“I mean, this ball is never moving fast enough, in my opinion,” Hammon said in an interview earlier this year. “People don’t like doing something new and different. It’s uncomfortable. It takes massive amount of risk. Somebody’s going to have to take a chance… In some ways, I feel like it could be in a year. In other ways, it could be 10 years. I’m not really sure. What I’m sure of is, I’ll be ready.”
Hammon previously interviewed for the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coaching job in 2018, but the team decided to go with Mike Budenholzer. Whether she ends up getting hired by the Trail Blazers or Magic remains to be seen, but it’s clear she’s going to be a head coach sooner rather than later.
Courtesy: CBS Sports