Becky Hammon, first female head coach in NBA Summer League, leads San Antonio Spurs to title
By JOHN DORN
It's been a busy 11 months for Becky Hammon. In August of last year, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hired the former WNBA star as the NBA's first female assistant coach. It was a historic move, but also one that lent itself to harsh criticism if things went poorly.
Of course, with the Spurs, nothing ever goes poorly. And this situation was no different.
"She's a firecracker. She takes no prisoners. She's got a great personality," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said last season, according to ESPN.com.
After a successful first season on the San Antonio bench, the team announced in early July that Hammon would serve as head coach during this year's summer league, leading and developing the Spurs' prospects.
Monday night, San Antonio secured the championship.
The victory over the New Orleans Pelicans capped off a 7-3 run in Las Vegas, with six of those wins coming consecutively. Jonathon Simmons took home MVP honors, scoring 23 points, and shared some thoughts on his coach after the victory.
"It's amazing. It was a humbling experience for all of us," he said on NBATV. "I really love her, and I've only known her a couple days. She's a real cool coach. She's a player coach. That's something we all like."
In the grand scheme, a summer title doesn't mean very much. But there are two clear takeaways: The teams young weapons, led by Kyle Anderson, make San Antonio a force to be reckoned with even after Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili transition into retirement.
The second takeaway? Hammon can coach, and it shouldn't be all that long before teams start calling with real head coaching offers.
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