By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard
Becky Hammon is a woman and now an assistant coach for the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. Yes, a woman is an assistant coach for an NBA team. A team made up entirely of men. It also couldn’t be a more perfect situation for a more qualified individual.
Hammon is someone everyone says was going to be a coach at some point. One could assume most people didn’t think that it would be with an NBA franchise must less the defending champions. But she is and by all accounts more than qualified to make a great team even better.
The Spurs are an NBA backwater. Meaning that it’s not Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or Miami. Yet they have been one of the most consistent and successful organizations in the NBA. Winning five NBA titles since 1999 with a head coach, Gregg Popovich, who is one of the best in history. A smart, thorough man with a track record of success. Now he and the Spurs are making history, again.
The Spurs have thought outside the box many times before. They have the most diverse roster in the NBA with six players born outside of the US. Popovich and his staff have been able to bring these diverse backgrounds together into a championship team. When you think about it this way, Hammon’s hiring doesn’t seem that unusual because Spurs have put aside prejudice many times before choosing instead to focus on finding the best qualified people regardless of location or in this case gender.
Hammon’s hiring is ground-breaking any way you cut it. Time will tell if she will be a success or enough of a success to become an NBA head coach one day. The fact that we are finally going to get a chance to find out is a huge step forward. Next question is when does a team from the MLS, the NHL, NFL or MLB hire a woman coach?