Becky Hammon: From the NBA to the WNBA
Becky Hammon, a beloved figure among basketball fans, did not secure a head coaching job in the NBA as she had hoped. However, she has recently been announced as the head coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. This exciting move could potentially pave the way for championship titles in her immediate future.
Las Vegas Aces: Title Contenders
DraftKings Sportsbook has listed the Las Vegas Aces as the +350 favorites to win the 2022 WNBA Championship. They are positioned ahead of other strong contenders such as the Chicago Sky (+400) and the Connecticut Sun (+400). This high expectation reflects the optimism surrounding the team’s prospects under Becky Hammon’s leadership.
Becky Hammon: Breaking Barriers
While there are several women serving as assistant coaches in the NBA, Becky Hammon has emerged as the most prominent and trailblazing figure in this realm. During her professional career, she was honored with six WNBA All-Star selections. Additionally, she achieved a bronze medal representing Russia in the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing. Following her retirement as a player, Hammon spent eight years as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs. This groundbreaking role made her the first full-time female assistant coach in any major men’s North American professional sports team.
Thanks to her impressive resume and achievements, Hammon received numerous head coaching interviews with NBA teams. However, she encountered a recurring hurdle during these discussions: her lack of experience as a head coach. Hammon shared her frustration, stating that interviewers frequently raised concerns about her limited time with the San Antonio Spurs and her absence of head coaching experience. She acknowledged the challenges women face in breaking into head coaching positions in the NBA and expressed uncertainty about when this significant change might occur.
Heading to the WNBA
Confronted with barriers in the NBA, Hammon decided to redirect her focus towards the WNBA. As a former member of the San Antonio Stars, which now serves as the foundation for the Las Vegas Aces, taking on the role of head coach became crucial for her future career, regardless of the league. Hammon firmly believes that being a head coach is a valuable stepping stone to furthering her own development as well as the advancement of women’s basketball.
Expressing her thoughts on the opportunity, Hammon remarked, “Being the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces is a step forward and a step in the right direction for myself and for women’s basketball. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this opportunity that I have. There’s something to being a head coach.”
The Potential for WNBA Glory
With the arrival of Becky Hammon at the helm, the Las Vegas Aces are poised to make a strong push for the WNBA championship title. Hammon will be taking over from former coach Bill Laimbeer, who will remain with the organization and take on general manager duties as well. The Aces have consistently achieved first place in the Western Conference over the past two seasons. Although they fell short in the 2020 WNBA Finals against the Seattle Storm (losing 3-0) and in the semifinals against the Phoenix Mercury (losing 3-2) last season, they remain a formidable force. The team boasts top-tier players like A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, and Kelsey Plum, all of whom are expected to return for the upcoming 2022 season.
Given the wealth of talent at her disposal, Hammon is excited about implementing her offensive and defensive strategies. She firmly believes that a championship title is well within reach for the Las Vegas Aces.
Becky Hammon’s transition from the NBA to the WNBA marks an important milestone for both her personal journey and the advancement of women’s basketball. While she may not have secured a head coaching position in the NBA, her appointment as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces positions her as a frontrunner for success in the WNBA. With a roster filled with skilled players and Hammon’s strategic prowess, the Aces are primed to make a serious bid for the WNBA championship. This move highlights the continued progress of female coaches in the world of professional sports.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does Becky Hammon’s coaching experience in the NBA translate to the WNBA?
Becky Hammon’s coaching experience in the NBA, particularly with the San Antonio Spurs, has provided her with valuable insights and knowledge of the game at the highest level. Her understanding of player development, strategic decision-making, and fostering a positive team culture will undoubtedly transfer well to her role as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA.
2. Who are some of the key players to watch on the Las Vegas Aces roster?
The Las Vegas Aces possess a talented roster filled with standout players. A’ja Wilson, the 2020 WNBA MVP, is a dominant force in the league. Chelsea Gray, known for her exceptional playmaking abilities, brings valuable experience to the team. Kelsey Plum, with her scoring prowess, adds another dynamic dimension to the Aces’ offense. These players, along with others on the team, make the Las Vegas Aces a formidable contender for the WNBA championship.
3. How significant is Becky Hammon’s appointment as the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces for women’s basketball?
Becky Hammon’s appointment as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces carries immense significance for women’s basketball. As a trailblazer and role model, Hammon’s success challenges gender norms and paves the way for future generations of female coaches. Her achievements serve as an inspiration and encouragement for women aspiring to make their mark in the world of professional sports.
4. Will Becky Hammon’s high salary impact the Las Vegas Aces financially?
While Becky Hammon’s salary as the highest-paid coach in the WNBA is undoubtedly significant, it is a reflection of her exceptional coaching abilities and the value she brings to the team. The Las Vegas Aces have made a strategic decision to invest in Hammon’s expertise, with the belief that her leadership will greatly benefit the franchise both on and off the court.
5. What are the expectations for the Las Vegas Aces in the upcoming WNBA season?
The Las Vegas Aces are entering the upcoming WNBA season with high expectations. With Becky Hammon as their head coach and a talented roster, their goal is nothing short of winning the WNBA championship. The team’s strong performances in recent seasons, combined with their determination and desire for success, position the Aces as legitimate contenders for the title.