With NBA head coaching jobs opening up left and right and the NBA under the microscope to back up its self-anointed claim as the most progressive league in sports when it comes to race and gender equality and diversity in hiring, San Antonio assistant coach Becky Hammon’s name has popped up in discussions.
If Hammon is hired by an NBA team, she will become the first woman head coach in NBA history. The Indiana Pacers axed head coach Nate McMillan shortly after the team was eliminated from the first round of the playoffs inside the NBA Bubble.
Hammon is expected to take part in the Pacers’ first-round of virtual interviews, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. She is one of more than a dozen candidates who will be interviewed by the team.
ESPN Sources: Pacers beginning with a wide-ranging list in coaching search, including Becky Hammon and Dave Joerger: https://t.co/aD6TZp9y7r
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 9, 2020
Hammon became the first woman ever hired by an NBA team as a full-time coach when Gregg Popovich added her to his San Antonio Spurts staff as an assistant. She is widely respected around the league and her basketball acumen has been praised by spoke of the greatest ballplayers of all time including Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.
Prior to joining Pop’s staff, Hammon, 43, was a former WNBA player and college hoops legend who also balled out overseas.
The Pacers have a history with first-time head coaches in the past. Larry Bird was a first-time head coach hired by the Pacers and reached the NBA Finals in 2000. Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas led them to three straight playoff berths from 2001-2003 and GOAT
This is as close as a woman has ever come to securing an NBA head coaching job and she’d be the first woman in major sports to assume a head coaching position in a men’s league.