Spurs’ Becky Hammon Becomes First Woman to Coach in NBA Game
In a year filled with bad, 2020 ended on a historic note in the NBA.
With just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter of a Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs game, Gregg Popovich was ejected and left his assistant coach Becky Hammon with the keys to call the rest of the game.
A monumental moment!
On December 30th, Hammon, a legend in the WNBA and a current assistant coach for the Spurs, became the first woman to act as a head coach in NBA history. Hammon joined Popovich’s staff back in 2014 and has worked her way up to the lead assistant spot after James Borrego departed for the Charlotte Hornets.
Spurs assistant Becky Hammon filled in for an ejected Gregg Popovich.
She's believed to be the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA regular-season game. pic.twitter.com/VyQqVNaPhc
— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2020
“Obviously it’s a big deal … it’s a substantial moment,” Hammon said following the 121-107 loss to the Lakers. “He [Coach Popovich] pointed at me and said, ‘You got it.’
“I try not to think of the huge picture and huge aspect of it because it can be overwhelming… I (was) trying to get the guys in the right spots. Trying to get them motivated. Obviously, it’s a learning situation for all of us, but I would have loved to have walked out there with a win with the guys.”
Despite the loss, Hammon’s efforts did not go unnoticed by the entire sports world.
“Obviously, she’s been paying her dues over the last few years and Coach Pop has given her the opportunity,” Said LeBron James, who finished the night with 26 points and eight assists. ” It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets. She’s very passionate about the game. Congrats to her and congrats for our league.”
A remarkable accomplishment to wrap up what has been an interesting year!