As had been rumored, Hammon is reportedly leaving the Spurs at the end of the season to take over as head coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. Shams Charania broke the news that the sides were close to a deal.
Just in: San Antonio Spurs assistant and WNBA legend Becky Hammon is closing in on a landmark deal to become the new head coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, sources tell me and @ChantelJennings.https://t.co/upEi4FMKrs
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 31, 2021
This is reportedly a five-year contract, the largest coaching deal in WNBA history. Hammon takes over for Bill Laimbeer, who is reportedly stepping down.
In her quest to be an NBA head coach, Hammon has turned down other jobs in the past, such as head coach of the University of Florida women’s basketball team and coach of the Colorado State men’s basketball team. She has interviewed for a number of NBA coaching jobs, and last offseason was reportedly a finalist for the Portland head coaching job (how close she came depends on who you ask).
Only one former WNBA coach has become a head coach in the NBA, Michael Cooper, but he was also a former NBA player.
Hammon takes over an Aces team that was 24-8, finished first in the Western Conference, but lost to the Phoenix Mercury in the playoffs last season. Las Vegas, which reached the WNBA Finals the season before, is led by former MVP and Olympian A’ja Wilson.
If returning to the NBA is Hammon’s ultimate goal, proving she has the presence needed, can do the job as a head coach and succeed in that role could make Las Vegas a stepping stone. Or, maybe the former WNBA All-Star who played 16 seasons in the league decides she is happy in the WNBA. All that should matter is what Hammon wants, what she thinks is best for herself, her family, and her career.
And starting next WNBA season, that will be in Las Vegas.