Becky Hammon has spent the past several seasons working towards becoming a head coach of the NBA, and on Wednesday, she hit that goal … if only for a little while. San Antonio Tottenham Coach Greg Popovich was dismissed during the second quarter of their match against Los Angeles LakersHamon took over the position of acting coach of the team. This makes her the first woman to serve as a head coach during a regular season NBA match.
Hamon, a WNBA legend, has been an assistant at Tottenham since 2014. She has risen through the ranks since then to work as a head coach for Tottenham in a number of different capacities ahead of Wednesday’s match against the Lakers. She captained the foundation’s summer league team, and while Spurs rotated the head coaches during the brawls that led to the resumption of the NBA in Orlando last season, she coached the team in an exhibition match against Milwaukee Bucks. But when Popovic was forced to walk away from the squad last season for personal reasons, it was team legend and assistant coach Tim Duncan who stepped into Popovic’s chair as head coach.
Duncan resigned after last season, paving the way for Hamon to earn the distinction now. While the distinction will only continue into Wednesday’s match, it is almost certain that she will have a permanent chance in the future. Many believe Hamon to be the heir apparent to San Antonio and take over the helm of Tottenham when Popovic retires. If not, she interviewed key coaching positions with Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers. Ultimately, you will likely be a full-time NBA head coach.
But Wednesday’s match with the Lakers was her first chance to do so in a calculated match, and while beating the defending champions was not a realistic goal, it cleared itself well in the role it might one day occupy permanently.