NBA gets its first female WNBA star Becky Hammon takes questions from the media at the San Antonio Spurs practice facility after being introduced as an assistant coach with the team (AP photo)
NBA gets its first female
Lexile

The San Antonio Spurs of the NBA have hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach. What's special is that she will be the first full-time, paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.

When Hammon retires from her 16-year women's pro basketball career in the WNBA, she will immediately move to the staff of the defending NBA champions. With the Spurs, she will work with head coach Gregg Popovich on scouting, game-planning and the day-to-day grind of practice.

"I'm up for challenges," Hammon said Tuesday. "I'm up for being outside the box, making tough decisions and challenges. ... And I'm a little bit of an adrenaline junkie. Throw those all in there and this was the perfect challenge and opportunity."

That makes her fit right in with the Spurs, an organization with a reputation for bold decisions. Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford have long been at the forefront of the league's international influx. Earlier this summer, they hired European men's coaching standout Ettore Messina as an assistant.

During the 2001-02 season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Lucas brought Lisa Boyer into the team's practices and some games. Boyer, now an assistant at South Carolina, was not paid by the Cavaliers and did not travel with the team, but did work with the players and coaches that season.

Last season, Hammon attended Spurs practices, film sessions and sat behind the bench at home game after suffering a torn ACL that kept her from playing.

"As far as women coaching men, it's really silly. People ask me all the time, will there ever be a woman player in the NBA?" Hammon said. "To be honest, no. There are differences. The guys are too big, too strong and that's just the way it is.

"But when it comes to things of the mind, things like coaching, game-planning, coming up with offensive and defensive schemes, there's no reason why a woman couldn't be in the mix and shouldn't be in the mix."

Critical thinking challenge: Why has it taken so long for this to happen?

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COMMENTS (85)
  • 17Blake-May
    8/13/2014 - 02:45 p.m.

    this article is good i didn't know that a female was coaching the spurs wats crazy about that is that the spurs are my favorite team im pre wrote a good article surprised you wrote a good article thankou for writing it.

  • 20Hagen-May
    8/13/2014 - 02:46 p.m.

    I can't believe that was the first paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.Also it's cool how she came from WNBA.Hope she does well.

  • 18Beau-May
    8/13/2014 - 02:48 p.m.

    I think that there should be more girl coaches.I also wonder why they got a girl for a assistant coach.I think. I Becky is ready.

  • 04Tommy-May
    8/13/2014 - 02:48 p.m.

    That's pretty cool that a woman gets to be an assistant coach in the NBA with men as the coaches and just be the first woman and see what happens in the NBA so she can coach the men and even make money off of it.

  • tysontindall
    8/22/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    thats gonna be cool shes the first nba women coah i bet shes gonna be a good one she could be a role model for younger girls that wanna be a nba women coach

  • AbbeyB-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 02:52 p.m.

    I think it's great the she is helping coach! I think that would be really fun to do! She is making history doing what she is doing.

  • RyanSe-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 02:54 p.m.

    I think it is not good to get a girl in the NBA because what if the players be mad that they got a assent coach as a girl and what if they just brush to the side.

  • dylan sypherd
    8/28/2014 - 10:43 p.m.

    I think it's good to have female assistant coaches because it gives women a chance to be just like men and there are a lot of great female athletes that can help other athletes specially man athletes get better

  • softball_player
    9/02/2014 - 02:07 p.m.

    This is VERY important to me because I think women should get equal rights. People are asking "why has it taken so long to have a girl on the NBA staff?" The answer is simple, the board for the NBA organization thought it was silly to have a girl coaching guys. I think this girl will go far and maybe we can get some more on more teams.

  • ayoswag
    9/02/2014 - 03:37 p.m.

    I think it's cool that a female is on the coaching staff for the nba. It's great. The lakers are still the best and always will be

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