San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon coached the team to the Las Vegas Summer League title over the Phoenix Suns last night. Ben Golliver of SI.com reported the history-making event.
Last summer, Hammon made history by becoming the first ever full-time assistant coach in NBA history, when longtime Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added her to his staff. This obviously proved to be a great hire, as she led San Antonio to a 6-1 record in the Summer League and a 93-90 win in the championship game.
After the game, Hammon discussed the win.
“You never know what your journey has in store,” Hammon said afterward. “You just work hard and keep your nose to the grind. You do things the right way, you treat people the right way, and good things happen. … I’m just thankful that [Popovich] trusted me with the guys in that locker room, and that those guys trusted me back.”
Prior to beginning her coaching career, Hammon played at Colorado State and then professionally in both the WNBA and in Europe, spending time with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars. She made six WNBA All-Star teams and led the league in assists in 2007.
With this now on her resume, it’s a near-certainty that there could be a head-coaching job in her future. It also helps that Spurs players have a tremendous amount of respect for her, particularly guard Jonathan Simmons, who was Championship Game MVP.
“She’s a player’s coach,” Simmons said of Hammon. “Guys my age all like a player’s coach. She did a great job with us. She was solid the whole way. She did what she was supposed to do. … It’s always good to be a part of history. This day will go down in the books for years to come. … I love her. I barely know her and I love her already.”
If Popovich should choose to retire soon, it’d certainly be hard for Hammon to not be considered as a potential successor at this point.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports