WHEN San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected for protesting a foul call. He looked to assistant coach Becky Hammon to lead the team making her the first female to act as a head coach in National Basketball Association (NBA) history
The Spurs battled the reigning NBA champions the Los Angeles Lakers in a regular season game, and the moment quickly became historic before the end of the first half.
“Obviously it’s a big deal … it’s a substantial moment,” Hammon said following the game. Asked about the moment she knew she was officially taking over, she replied, “(Popovich) officially pointed at me. That was it. That was it, said you got ’em.”
Hammon assumed coaching responsibilities fully for the first time in a game. She previously broke barriers as head coach for the team during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. She impressed in the fresh role winning the 2015 Summer League title.
Looking on five years later, with the NBA employing eight women as assistant coaches this season and Hammon becoming the first to serve as an acting head coach, she continues to make history with every step in her stellar career.
She has been a fantastic leader on this front, so it’s only fitting that she’s the first to step into the head coaching mould.
The former WNBA player became the first full-time paid female NBA assistant coach in 2014 when she joined the San Antonio Spurs roster. An All-Star in the WNBA, Hammon played eight seasons each with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.
Hammon’s side lost 121- 107 to the 2019 Champions