In recent days, since her triumphant performance as the Spurs’ Summer League coach, there has been a groundswell of support around the NBA for Becky Hammon’s potential as a future head coach in the league. Hammon already made history last season when she was hired to Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, becoming the woman to hold a full-time position on an NBA coaching staff. Response around the league and in the Spurs’ locker room was overwhelmingly positive, and it’s led to an even higher profile, and speculation that she could shatter yet another glass ceiling in the near future.
Multiple NBA executives are telling CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger that the idea of Hammon as a head coach is more than just smoke at this point:
In conversations with multiple team executives and decision-makers around the NBA, there is no question Hammon has gained traction as a potentially serious head-coaching candidate. Just as important, the conventional thinking about what teams look for in a coach have begun to shift dramatically.
With some more huddles under her command, and more gameplans up her sleeve, Hammon could prove to be the woman who arrives at the right place at the right time in a sports culture that is primed for new thinking.
“Why not?” one Eastern Conference executive told CBSSports.com. “She has the qualities necessary, and with an organization’s backing, she could do it. She’s obviously learned under the best.”
Another Eastern Conference executive said, “She would be high on my list. She’s short-list worthy.”
During ABC’s Saturday telecast of the WNBA All-Star Game, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reiterated his recent comments about the possibility.
“I have no doubt that we will have a female coach in the NBA someday,” Silver said. “There should be no barriers whatsoever.”
It helps things that the first team to take this step was the Spurs, who have as solid an organization and infrastructure as there is in all of professional sports, not just the NBA. There is no doubting Hammon’s basketball qualifications, or the respect that she commands from players in the Spurs’ locker room. It’s just a matter of when a team will pull the trigger on hiring her or another woman for the top job. With as much momentum as the idea has gained this year, there’s little doubt that it will happen at some point.