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Becky Hammon’s path to becoming Aces head coach


Much has been written about the Las Vegas Aces winning their first WNBA title. From Aja Wilson’s MVP season, Chelsea Gray’s final MVP run, and the impact Las Vegas has made on the league. Today, I want to take a moment and reflect on Becky Hyman’s coaching career and how she went from San Antonio star player to head coach of the Las Vegas Aces.

Becky Hyman’s coaching career begins at the end of her playing days. In 2013, while recovering from injury, he attended San Antonio Spurs practice, games, and coaching meetings. He later described the year as an “internship” with Spurs. In 2014, he officially retired from the Stars and started working as a Spurs assistant coach.

“It’s a tremendous challenge, and with it comes tremendous responsibility,” Hammon said upon accepting the job. “There are so many other women who are doing really, really cool things, and I’m just following their path.”

While Becky noted following in the paths of other women, she seemed more like a trailblazer. She is the second coach ever in NBA history, the first being Lisa Boyer who served as a volunteer assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2001. In 2015, Hammon took another step forward in his coaching career by becoming the head coach. Spurs Summer League team. She was the first female head coach in the Summer League and went on to win the Summer League title.

“He listened, he played really hard for me, and so I really appreciate his attentiveness, his alertness and his desire to win.” Hyman called the postgame. The win was further proof that not only was Hammon a good coach, but he could have tremendous success as the head coach of NBA talent. Still, the question remained, when would she become the head coach of the NBA team?

That day was December 30, 2020. It was the Lakers vs Spurs, LeBron James’ 36th birthday. Greg Popovich got two techniques and was kicked out of the game in the second quarter. Suddenly, Hyman was the head coach of the Spurs for the rest of the game. “She officially pointed to me and nodded,” Hammon said after the game about finding out she would be head coach. The team lost to Los Angeles 121–107, but history was made with Becky being the first woman to become the head coach of an NBA team, even if only for one night.

“I didn’t go into the field thinking I would be coaching tonight,” she said. “But that’s how things go, and you just roll with it.”

As the months and years passed, there was always speculation and anticipation that Hammon would get a chance to become a permanent head coach in San Antonio or elsewhere in the NBA. However, it never came to fruition; Instead, the Aces made a splash by hiring him ahead of the 2022 season. They immediately showed how much they wanted by paying him $1 million, making him the highest-paid head coach in WNBA history.

“After talking to[Las Vegas Aces president Nikki Fargas]and wrestling and throwing out various ideas and things, obviously I came to the conclusion that this was the best place for me and my family.” Becky Hyman said in her introductory press conference.

“And there’s an opportunity for me to sit in a big chair and be the head coach of a major sports league, and so I feel like I’m ready to build my own team, and it’s this organization that made it very clear that they I’m really bad, and so it’s always good to be wanted, and so it quickly became clear to me that Las Vegas was the place for me.”

And the rest, as they say, is history. Hammon did a historic season and achieved nearly every feat imaginable. Coach of the Year, No. 1 Seed, Commissioner’s Cup Championship and WNBA Championship. This journey may have taken years to make, but it looks like Hamon is where she is, making history.

“My journey is not by mistake,” she said. “Every hard thing I’ve been through has created something in me that I need on the road.”

With Eja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray signed for next season, it looks like Hyman has everything she needs to dominate the W again.



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