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San Antonio Spurs announced the promotion of six-time WNBA All-Star Becky Hammon from front-of-the-bench personnel to assistant coach on Wednesday.
Hammon, 41, who joined the Spurs in 2014 will be replacing James Borrego who was signed by the Charlotte Hornets as their new head coach last month. Hammon, who was among the six assistants of head coach Gregg Popovich last year, is the first full-time female coach in the history of the league. Popovich is among the best coaches with a dazzling slate of 1,197 wins and 541 losses.
Hammon will be joining Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina, the Spurs’ top assistant, in the mentoring duties. The WNBA‘s ninth all-time scorer made her way into the NBA scene after leading the Spurs into winning the 2015 Summer League crown.
Prior to joining the Spurs, Hammon had a phenomenal career in the WNBA. She played in the league for 16 years. She has scored 5,841 points and 1,708 assists while making 829 field goals, which is third-best in the checkered history of the league.
Moments after winning the title, Hammon garnered the interest of her alma mater who was searching for a mentor at that time. The Colorado State Rams eventually signed erstwhile assistant head coach Niko Medved.
Will Hammon Become NBA’s First Female Head Coach?
Basketball pundits believe that the promotion will serve as a stepping stone for Hammon who happens to be one of the favorites to replace Popovich. Reports around the league suggest that Popovich will likely hang his boots up after 2020 when he steers the United States men’s basketball squad in the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The report added that the 2019-2020 NBA season will serve as Popovich’s final year in the league.
The Spurs enjoyed massive success under the tutelage of Popovich by winning five titles and making 21 consecutive appearances in the playoffs. Aside from crafting the Spurs legacy, Popovich has been a massive influence on fellow NBA head coaches Mike D’Antoni, Mike Buldenhozer, and Brett Brown.
Hammon also has captured the interest of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons. Earlier last season, the Bucks considered Hammon as one of the possible replacements of Jason Kidd.
Besides Hammon, Messina is also seen to be among the favorites to replace Popovich. Messina was the acting head coach for the Spurs in this year’s playoffs after Popovich was sidelined due to the death of his wife.
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