Becky Hammon Spurs: Show of support for former Stars point guard; Pop 'Confident in her basketball IQ'
Following the announcement that former WNBA star Becky Hammon would be the first female full-time assistant head coach in the NBA, there has been a huge amount of support.
Hammon was announced as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, according to NBA.com.
"I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said through a statement released by the team. "Having observed her working with our team this past season, I'm confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs."
Los Angeles Lakers superstar and future NBA hall of famer Kobe Bryant showed his support, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
"Big fan of Becky since she was in college. Very bright basketball mind," Bryant said per a tweet form Shelbourne.
Skip Bayless of ESPN's "First Take" tweeted out:
One day, I believe, Becky Hammon will be the NBA's first female head coach. That's how much Pop thinks of her. This was no PR move. Legit.
Hammon had a successful WNBA career. She averaged 13.1 points through 16 seasons, according to NBA.com. She played eight seasons with the New York Liberty and eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars.
The 37-year old Hammon missed all of the 2013 season with an ACL injury. During that time she attended Spurs practices and sat behind the bench at homes games.
Despite this impressive milestone for women in sports, Hammon acknowledges that at the end of the day, the job is about basketball.
"I've gotta be perfectly honest, it's never been about the woman thing it's been about, 'Hey she's got a great basketball mind and we think she'd be a great addition to our program'," said Hammon. "I think that's just the driving force."
She added: "Pop said...'As cool as it would be to hire you, you have to be qualified and I have to make sure you're qualified.' And I think that's the best way to go about it."
The first female assistant coach in the NBA was Lisa Boyer with the Cleveland Cavaliers. She did not travel the team and was not on the team's payroll. However, she did work with the players in practices and attended a number of games. Boyer is currently an assistant coach at South Carolina.