San Antonio Spurs Make NBA History Hiring WNBA’s Becky Hammon as Assistant Coach [Video]
LeBron James heading back to Cleveland may not be this summer's most eye-opening move in the NBA.
Veteran WNBA player Becky Hammon, considered one of the league's all-time best players, has been hired as an assistant coach by the San Antonio Spurs.
Hammon will become the first woman to be paid by an NBA team for working as an assistant. A 16-year veteran of the WNBA, Hammon, 37, will retire after the season.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gushed about bringing her aboard:
I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff. 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."
Hammon isn't actually the first woman to work with an NBA team. Back in 2001-2002, Lisa Boyer served as an assistant with the Cavaliers, but she only worked home games and the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers paid her.
Hammon, who will finish her playing career with the San Antonio Stars, first caught the eye of Popovich this past season. She worked with the coach and players and impressed them all with, especially Popovich, who said, "She's been perfect. She knows when to talk, and she knows when to shut up. That's as simple as you can put it, and a lot of people don't figure that out. …She knows how to do it, and our players really respond to her. She's just a natural."
You can learn more about Hammon and Popovich's glowing opinion of her in the video below: