Becky Hammon Makes NBA History as First Female Head Coach

A few months ago, I wrote a piece about Becky Hammon and her incredible journey from an undrafted WNBA player to an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. I ended the article by saying that Hammon would continue to do great things in the NBA, and yesterday, my prediction came true.

Gregg Popovich was ejected from yesterday’s game against the Lakers after he was arguing with a ref during the second quarter, making Hammon the head coach. “He officially pointed at me,” Hammon said. “That was it. Said ‘You’ve got them.’ Obviously, it’s a big deal. It’s a substantial moment.”

Of course, praise and congratulations began pouring out as soon as Becky took the reins.

Magic Johnson congratulated Coach Hammon on Twitter:

Billie Jean King also has praise for the Hammon:

Even Dr. Kamala Harris herself had words for the NBA’s latest headliner:

In other media, King James himself had something to say about this NBA milestone.

“It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets, and she’s very passionate about the game, so congrats to her and congrats to the league.”

Back in November of 2019, Popovich was given a technical foul and when he left the game, the whole of the Spurs’ support staff was left in charge, including Hammon. Later, though, Popovich claimed that assistant coach Tim Duncan was the one leading everything in his absence. In the offseason, Duncan left full time coaching, so Hammon had the support of assistant coaches Will Hardy and Mitch Johnson.

Even though Hammon and the Spurs didn’t win against the Lakers last night, but they put up a hell of a fight. “I would have loved to have walked out of there with the win with the guys,” she said.

Another one of Hammon’s well-wishers was Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “Well deserved. She’s going to be a great coach one day.”

I’m not so sure those words are true, though. She’s already a great coach. And she has been for quite some time.

For more thoughts and opinions from Melanie, check out her author page.

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(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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