It was the biggest offseason news from the San Antonio Spurs this past summer. They made a historic move as they hired former San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon to be an assistant coach, making her the first paid female assistant coach in NBA history.
Fast forward a few months and it seems Hammon and the Spurs are the perfect fit. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has praised the 37-year-old and has repeatedly said the team hired her for her basketball IQ. Hammon recently sat down with Fox Sports and gave a little insight into what it is like to work for Popovich.
“It’s like going to school every day,” she said. “I go in and I got my little pen and paper, I’m taking notes and I’m soaking up everything and all the other guys as well have been great. He is tough, he has a standard and everyone is suppose to meet that standard. Not just the players, but the coaches as well.”
What sets Hammon apart from others is her decision making. Having covered the Stars in the summer of 2014, I got to see first hand what she can do. When she came out of the game for rest, she would coach and teach the younger players and took rookie Kayla McBride under her wing.
The Spurs saw this first hand when they let her sit behind the bench last season as Hammon was recovering from a knee injury. She sat in on film sessions and attended practices and impressed the staff enough to hire her. Fans have learned to trust Popovich’s judgement and he sees something special in Hammon and so do his players.
“She’s doing a great job she really knows her stuff,” backup point guard Cory Joseph said of Hammon. “I’ve learned a lot from her as a point guard, you know she was a point guard, so she knows the game and she’s doing a great job.”
Hammon has always said she has wanted to coach and if she continues to learn and make herself an even better assistant, we may see an even bigger historic move in the near future, Coach Hammon has a nice ring to it.
(Quotes via WNBA.com and Fox Sports interview)