The San Antonio Spurs made a bold move on Tuesday hiring Becky Hammon as an assistant coach on Greg Popovich’s staff, according to Jeff Zillgit of USA Today:
Spurs name Becky Hammon an assistant coach. First women’s assistant in the league. Another progressive move for the NBA.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) August 5, 2014
Hammon was a six-time WNBA All-Star with the San Antonio Stars and widely considered one of the greatest players in league history. Although Hammon doesn’t have any coaching experience, there’s no better place to learn than in San Antonio under Popovich.
After the Spurs announced the hiring of Hammon, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant said the following about the former WNBA star, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
How’s this for a compliment? Kobe Bryant says of @BeckyHammon “Big fan of Becky since she was in college. Very bright basketball mind.”
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 5, 2014
With arguably the NBA’s best head coach willing to roll the dice on the first woman assistant in the NBA, Hammon is off to a good start. Kobe calling the former WNBA star a “very bright basketball mind” only helps the transition making the move that much more legitimate.
Hammon’s position with the Spurs could help pave the way for other women interested in making the jump to the NBA in some capacity. Needless to say, Hammon and the Spurs have made history and it’ll be interesting to see how players in San Antonio and around the league react to the hiring of the first woman assistant coach.