The San Antonio Spurs have lived outside the news cycle for years and yet all they do is continue to win. While the sports media overloads us with the usual shit storm of stories about why we should or shouldn’t like LeBron, what Johnny Manziel did this weekend, how much Michael Sam loves the cock, is Dwight Howard retarded, etc. the Spurs just continue to fly under the radar as they finish at or near the top of their division every season. It’s safe to say they know what the fuck they are doing.
This week the Spurs did something that is sure to garner some national attention next year (because winning another the championship isn’t enough). They hired long time WNBA standout, Becky Hammond as an assistant coach. With her on the bench, Hammon will become the first full-time female coach in NBA history.
Spurs Coach Greg Popovich didn’t just pick some random chic out of obscurity to make headlines the way the GOP finds a Vice Presidential candidate. Becky Hammon has hall of fame credentials. She was an All-American at Colorado State where she became the school’s all-time leader in scoring and assists. She also finished college as the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) all-time leading scoring. She has won championships in the National Women’s Basketball League (NWBL) and the World League Championship, in Europe. She is a six-time WNBA All-Star and is one of only seven players to score 5,000 points in the history of the WNBA.
She is probably best known for taking a page out of the US Men’s National Team recruiting handbook for soccer by suiting up for another country after not being invited to play for her home nation. After being a first team All-WNBA selection in 2007 and second team in 2008, also leading the San Antonio Silver Stars the best record in the league and their first ever Western Conference Championship that season, she was not invited to compete for a roster spot on the US team headed to the Beijing Olympics.
Hammond had been playing in Russia during her WNBA off-seasons and the sports director of her CSKA Moscow team was coaching the Russian women for the 2008 games. So, prior to the Olympics she accepted an invitation to play for Russia to fulfill a life long dream of competing on the Olympic stage. She became a Russian naturalized citizen, signed a three-year contract extension with CSKA and then helped the Russian team earn a bronze medal in Beijing. She also suited up for Russia in London ’12.
In 2009 she was an all-star for both the Euroleague and the WNBA, winning the three-point contest in both leagues. That year she was once again named first team All-WNBA. In 2011 she was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all-time. So, you can throw out any thoughts about the Spurs only hiring her because she’s a woman- this chic can ball.
Besides, there is no rule that says you have to be a player to coach in the NBA. Have you seen the Toronto Raptors coaching staff? Right now, there are even guys on coaching staffs in Charlotte and Houston strictly because what their daddy (Silas and Bickerstaff, respectively) did as a player in the league. I would take Hammon over either of these fortunate sons in a game of one-on-one.
Sports have never been shy about hiring people for all the wrong reasons. ESPN and FOX hire skanks like Erin Andrews all the time to sit in front of the camera and not know what the fuck they are talking about. Instead we get the hear them ask dumb questions or give lame ass reports about how the players are dressed. Becky Hammon is a 16-year veteran and has the respect of the players on the defending world champions.