Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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Every so often there is a historic sports moment that doesn’t get regarded as such. Back on August 5th, the San Antonio Spurs hired 16-year WNBA veteran and Olympic Bronze Medalist, Becky Hammon, as the first female assistant coach in NBA history. Behind baseball’s dog days of summer and the outrageous hype over the NFL preseason, the magnitude of this move has been unrightfully overshadowed. Barriers are broken every day and the fact Hammon has earned the shot to coach with the big boys just goes to show how well respected she is in the game and that the future is bright for women in the NBA.
At the conclusion of this WNBA season, Hammon will officially fill her role as one of Gregg Popovich’s assistant coaches in San Antonio and honestly, this move shouldn’t surprise anyone. Between the success of general manager, R.C. Buford, and the tutelage of Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs are one of the most successful and trend setting teams in the NBA over the last 20 years. They were one of the first franchises to successfully utilize the use of international players, make a dynasty come true in one of the NBA’s smallest markets and now break the mold with women in the NBA. If the Spurs have been able to make it work before, who’s to say this time will be any different?
If you haven’t followed the game of basketball, Becky Hammon is just another name, but there is a reason that Popovich made history with this special basketball mind. The South Dakota-native is a six-time WNBA All-Star, a four-time All-WNBA selection, ranks 7th all-time in scoring, 2nd in 3-pointers made and 4th in total assists for a career. On top of her accolades, Hammon is one of the hardest working players and kindest souls that basketball has ever seen. There is no doubt that Hammon has earned her place in the game, but if you think it stops here, you are sadly mistaken.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge Becky Hammon fan. Her ability to dish the ball with the best, score on the drive, be the toughest person on the court and look good while doing it makes her the kind of player that you can’t help but fall in love with. While all of her skills are great, it is Hammon’s “never give up” attitude that attributes to her success. It made her one of the greatest WNBA players of all-time and now that she is an assistant coach in the NBA, don’t be surprised if she doesn’t stop there. We may see Hammon become an NBA head coach one day and if more women applied her attitude, chances are good that you will start to see female NBA executives and maybe a female NBA commissioner in the future.
The San Antonio Spurs have always seemed to be ahead of the curve and if you ask me, the Becky Hammon signing is just another example. Hammon may not set the world on fire as a coach, but now the sky is the limit for women in the NBA and Becky Hammon is leading the way.