Becky Hammon became the first female head coach in NBA Summer League history when she made her debut against the New York Knicks on July 11. The Knicks prevailed, 78-73.
Becky Hammon has made NBA history.
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Hammon, the San Antonio Spurs' assistant coach, became the first female head coach in NBA Summer League history when she made her debut against the New York Knicks on July 11, per MySanAntonio.com's Dan McCarney.
However, the Knicks prevailed over the Spurs, 78-73, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vagas, per McCarney.
Hammon discussed her new role with McCarney before tip-off:
"It's a different role. You go from giving support and watching details going on during the game to, you're the one calling timeout, you're the one drawing up the plays, you're the one the players get pissed at when they get yanked. It's a step over."
ESPN's J.J. Adande says the Spurs "were too sloppy" in executing a last-minute play Hammon devised, forcing her to call another timeout.
On the ensuing possesssion, the Spurs found Jarrell Eddie for an open three-pointer, but missed.
She then discussed equal-opportunity rights with Adande at the conclusion of the game:
"I just think it's important (for) society that women be rewarded for their brains just as much as any guy.
"To me, it's always about (the) bigger picture. We want to make sure that when your wife or your daughter goes in for a job interview, she gets the same opportunity that a guy gets. I think that's the bigger picture, that's the bigger goal.
"Whether it's basketball or in the army or in CEOs or in operating rooms, we want women there."
Hammon told The New York Post's George Wilis last March she feels there definitely is gender bias in the NBA. However, she says Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul criticizing female referee Lauren Holtkamp is not an example:
"People wanted to hear what I had to say being a woman in a man's world in the NBA. I just felt it was unfair. Is there gender bias in sports? Absolutely. Was that an example of one? I don't think so. If you watch CP3 he's a competitor. He goes after every official."
Hammon then tells ESPN she's still learning as a coach in the NBA:
"I'm learning. Do I want it to go down to the wire every game? No, because it's freaking stressful.
"I've spent this past year learning in the greatest learning space possible for a coach. It's as if Henry Ford came back to somebody and said, 'Hey, let me teach you how to make cars.' Anybody who doesn't jump on that opportunity would be crazy.
"I'm learning all sorts of things. Not just X's and O's. I feel like I'm just a flower that's getting great roots but far from blooming."
In his report, Adande also made mention of Hall-of-Fame women's basketball player Nancy Lieberman, currently the assistant general manager of the NBA Development League's Texas Legends. Lieberman is currently with the Sacramento Kings' staff for summer league play.
Lieberman hailed her opportunity with the Kings as "significant," per ESPN:
"At this stage, for me to have an opportunity to be on the bench and have gear. It sounds childish and insignificant. It's very significant.
"We're humble but confident. If we shouldn't be here, we shouldn't."
Hammon is a six-time WNBA All-Star who averaged 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 450 career regular-season games with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.
The Spurs hired Hammon on Aug. 5, 2014, becoming the NBA's first full-time female assistant coach.
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