Where’s The Risk In Hiring Becky Hammon If She’s Qualified?

    Wheres the risk in hiring Becky Hammon if shes qualified? 

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Gary D’Amato thinks the risk is too big for the Bucks to take. He says the timing isnt right and if she fails it would set the Milwaukee Bucks franchise back years as they are on the verge of contention and still control Greek Freak, one for the games young rising stars. 

    Hammon has already won by coming closer than any woman to being named head coach of a major American sports franchise, but reading DAmatos article probably set society and progressive journalism back 30 years at least. 

    On one hand, he compliments Hammon for having all of the coaching qualifications and the respect of her colleagues and some of the games greatest players, but on the other hand he questions her ability to keep her male players motivated and uses her inexperience at the NBA level as the reason why the Bucks shouldnt hire her. 

    What they need is an experienced coach with a strong personality to get them to the next level. Im not saying Hammon cant be that person. Im saying its too big a risk to find out whether she is or isnt.

    Again, I ask where is the risk? Why would hiring Hammon be a bigger risk than when they hired Jason Kiddwho had no NBA coaching experience? 

    … what if she failed? What if the team took a step backward under her leadership? The Bucks would come under fire for allowing a social experiment to derail their title aspirations. Critics would howl that the ownership group was out of touch, that the team wasted two or three years of Antetokounmpos prime on a publicity stunt.

    Its just too big a gamble for a team teetering between good and potentially great.

    We don’t know if Hammon will be a great coach or a terrible coach. We don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future. All signs point more towards the great than the terrible and maybe some owners will indeed prefer a coach with more experience, but to call her a social experiment is as degrading and chauvinistic a description of the situation as one could give and it’s a slap in the face to the Spurs organization and coach Gregg Popovich.  

    Hammon is a coach. She happens to be a woman, which shouldn’t matter anymore. Shes gone through the same protocol and conquered the same obstacles as male assistant who are being considered for one of the 30 coveted NBA coaching gigs. She was identified based on her talent and potential. 

    DAmato basically labeled this entire process a gimmick and says the only real reason to hire Hammon would be for publicity. 

    If it were solely about marketing, you could justify hiring her. It would be the biggest sports story of the year, one of the hottest topics of conversation in every locker room, living room and board room in America. Every blogger, tweeter, texter and talking head would weigh in and the buzz would last for weeks, for months, for however long Hammon was in charge and probably long after she wasnt.”

    Why would hiring her be considered an experience rather than progress? I actually cant believe the publication let this go to print, unless it was just trying to get some shock clicks, because the author seems to want the Bucks to suppress progress and possibly miss out on the best coach for their team because the author cant accept that a woman can just flat out coach.

    Pau Gasol told you that Hammon was the real deal in his Player’s Tribune peace and he has no horse in this race. 

    ESPN Women’s Hoops on Twitter

    I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports … And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.” https://t.co/M5JzRXV3UV

    Who determines when it’s time for history to move forward and outdated forms of thinking to be put to bed? Writing scare pieces that aim to suppress the advancements of minority groups borders on evil. Might as well go ahead and hashtag #Trump 2020 at the bottom. 

    Not taking Hammon seriously as a candidate is a way to discount the achievements of an already oppressed group. 

    DAmato sounds like all of the racist journalists back in the 40s that lambasted Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey for taking a risk on Jackie Robinson. What if he failed they asked? How will the fans and the players react to him? Can he handle it? This may not be the right time for baseball or America they said. 

    Someday, perhaps soon, Hammon or another woman will get the chance to lead an NBA team from the bench. The idea of a female head coach is a non-starter in the NFL or Major League Baseball, but the Association is far more progressive than the other major sports leagues.

    The time is coming. But not here. Not now.

    Why not?  If DAmatos philosophy holds true then its not time for a Black owner other than MJ in any of the major sports either. Thats a non-starter too, huh? I know how alot of guys feel like things are changing too quickly. Sports was once a male-controlled world where women werent allowed into the ole boys clubat executive, media or coaching levels. Some old school heads feel like they are losing the locker room. 

    There are more women reporting on the game now and old habits, practices, and ways of talking and thinking must be left in the past. Any attempts to discredit Hammons potential hire by the Bucks based on her gender and the fact that certain oppressive cultures may not be ready for the inevitable are dishonorable and such ideas only hold us back from growing, thriving and unifying. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.