The Detroit Pistons were recently linked to San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon to replace Stan Van Gundy as head coach.
Rod Beard reported that as the organization continues its search for a new head coach, they are likely to consider the San Antonio assistant (via The Detroit News):
“Hammon, 41, is on the Pistons’ radar as they look to fill their coaching vacancy after parting ways with Stan Van Gundy last week. Hammon last week reportedly interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks, who reached an agreement to hire Mike Budenholzer as their next coach Wednesday.”
She is a six-time WNBA All-Star who led the league in assists in 2007. Her playing career stretched from 1999 until 2012. She became an assistant coach for the Spurs in 2014.
If offered the job, she would become the second assistant coach for the Spurs hired for a head coaching vacancy this offseason. James Borrego was hired to replace Steve Clifford with the Charlotte Hornets.
Pau Gasol, who currently works with Hammon on the Spurs, wrote about why she would be a good fit as a head coach (via The Players’ Tribune):
“I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.”
Hammon was the first woman to interview for an NBA head coaching job, just as she was the first female assistant coach in NBA. Soon, she could very well be the first to accept a head coaching position as well.