WNBA: Becky Hammon’s path to becoming Las Vegas Aces head coach

Much has actually been blogged about the Las Vegas Aces winning their very first WNBA title. From A’ja Wilson’s MVP season, Chelsea Gray’s Finals MVP run, and the effect Las Vegas has actually made on the league. Today, I wish to take a minute and review Becky Hammon’s training profession and how she went from San Antonio Star gamer to Las Vegas Aces head coach.

The start of Becky Hammon’s training profession begins at the end of her playing days. In 2013, while recuperating from injury, she participated in San Antonio Spurs practices, video games, and training conferences. She later on explained this year as an “internship” with the Spurs. In 2014 she formally retired from the Stars and started working as a Spurs assistant coach.

“It’s a tremendous challenge, and it comes with tremendous responsibility,” Hammon stated upon accepting the task. “There have been so many other women that are doing really, really great things, and I’m just kind of following in their paths.”

While Becky pointed out following in other females’s courses, she appeared a lot more like a trendsetter. She is just the 2nd coach ever in the history of the NBA, with the very first being Lisa Boyer who worked as a volunteer assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2001. In 2015, Hammon took another advance in her training profession by being the head coach of the Spurs’ Summer League group. She was the first-ever female head coach in Summer League and went on to win the Summer League title.

“They listened, they played really hard for me, and so I just really appreciate their attentiveness, their alertness and their desire to win.” Hammon stated postgame. The win was additional evidence that not just was Hammon an excellent coach, however she might have incredible success as the head coach of NBA skill. Still, the concern stayed, when will she be the head coach of an NBA group?

That day was December 30, 2020. It was Lakers vs. Spurs, LeBron James’ 36th birthday. Greg Popovich got 2 techs and was ejected from the video game in the 2nd quarter. Suddenly, Hammon was the head coach of the Spurs for the remainder of the video game. “He officially pointed at me and nodded,” Hammon stated after the video game about learning she’d be the head coach. The group lost 121-107 to Los Angeles, however history was made with Becky being the very first lady to be the head coach of an NBA group, even if it was simply for a night.

“I did not walk into the arena thinking I’d be coaching tonight,” she stated. “But that’s the way things go, and you just roll with it.”

As the months and years went on, there was constantly speculation and anticipation that Hammon would get an opportunity to be the irreversible head coach in San Antonio or somewhere else in the NBA. However, that never ever concerned fulfillment; rather, the Aces made a splash by employing her previous to the 2022 season. They instantly demonstrated how much they desired her to be their coach by making her the highest-paid head coach in WNBA history, paying her a wage of $1 million.

“After talking to (Las Vegas Aces president Nikki Fargas) and wrestling and throwing around different ideas and stuff, obviously I came to the conclusion that this was the best spot for me and my family.” Becky Hammon stated at her initial interview.

“And an opportunity for me sit in the big chair and be a head coach of a major sports league, and so I feel like I’m ready to have my own team, and this is the organization that made it very obvious that they wanted me really bad, and so it’s always good to be wanted, and so it quickly became evident to me that Las Vegas was the place for me.”

And the rest, as they state, is history. Hammon went on to have a historical season and achieve nearly every task you can possibly imagine. Coach of the year, No. 1 seed, Commissioner’s Cup Championship and the WNBA champion. The journey might have been years in the making, however it appears Hammon is ideal where she belongs, making history.

“My journey’s not by mistake,” she stated. “Every hard thing I’ve gone through has built something in me that I’ve needed down the road.”

With A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and Chelsea Gray signed for next season, it appears Hammon has whatever she requires to control the W once again.



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