San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Becky Hammon led the Spurs to the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League Championship Monday night with a 93-90 win over the Phoenix Suns, finishing with a 6-1 record.
After losing their first game, Hammon and the Spurs regrouped and went on to win five straight games and claim the summer-league title, making her the first female coach in history to accomplish the task.
With that win, along with the obvious success and impact Hammon has on the game altogether, many are asking if she might one day serve as head coach for an NBA franchise.
According to ESPN, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has “no doubt” that Becky Hammon, or any other woman, might one day be an NBA head coach.
“No different than for me in coming up in my career. Unless you’re given those opportunities, you’re never going to show your ability to be successful,” Silver said. “So I’m enormously proud of her, and I’m enormously proud of the players who’ve quickly seen that she’s a top-notch coach and have been willing to follow her.”
Something that most people might not know is that the NBA already has had a female head coach in their Developmental League. Nancy Lieberman coached the Dallas Mavericks’ Developmental team, the Texas Legends, from 2009 to 2011.
In addition to her basketball knowledge and skills, the players Hammon coaches respect her, regardless of her gender.
“We don’t look at it as female or anything, she’s the coach and we just listen,” Spurs forward Jarrell Eddie told The Guardian.
That’s what matters the most. The fact that Becky Hammon has gained respect from players and that those players can see beyond the fact that she’s a woman and respect her enough for her keen basketball knowledge. That knowledge has led her team to a title and now gained national attention for women in sports.
Hammon has quickly opened the door for women in the NBA and all pro Sports for that matter. Just under a year ago, Hammon was hired as a full-time assistant coach to legendary Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Just a few weeks ago, after a successful first season coaching in the NBA, she was given an opportunity to show her chops in the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League. Now, after a note-worthy Summer League performance, and a Summer League title under her belt, Becky Hammon is being considered one of most-coveted head coaching candidates in the NBA.
Congratulations Becky. It’s only a matter of time she makes history again.