Becky Hammon once again proved she’s the right woman for the job.
The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach responded to ignorant commenters who made light of her initially making history as the first woman head coach of an NBA summer league team in the best way she knew how — winning it all, and making history again!
After losing to Derek Fisher and the New York Knicks during her coaching debut, Hammon reeled off six straight victories, against men, earning the title of champion, but also validating her purpose. Although, she owed that to no one because her self-confidence has never been doubted.
Hammon herself once said, “And a pick and roll in the women’s game is a pick and roll in the men’s game.” Making the point that gender has no bearing on one’s ability to coach. Either you get it or you don’t. And that goes for a man or a woman. And her point was later co-signed by future Hall of Famer, Coach Pop. FoxSports quoted him as saying, “I don’t know if her perspective is unique. It’s women instead of men, but it’s the same game. Becky knows what to do on a pick-and-roll just as much as what Tony Parker knows. So I don’t think it’s unique at all.” Pop is right. It’s not unique or special. It’s just basketball.
Hammon’s summer league championship victory reaffirms Pop’s comments about why Hammon was hired in the first place. It wasn’t a sign of tokenism, as many internet trolls are convinced. Or a publicity stunt to improve the image of the team. The San Antonio Spurs is one of the most revered organizations in all of the NBA. Beyond being recognized for its winning pedigree, the Spurs’ respect for the game is second to none. So, when Pop says Hammon earned the opportunity because of her basketball acumen, accept it. When Hammon’s players praise her ability to lead, believe it. And when women continue to break barriers in sports, celebrate it.