Report: Bucks plan to interview Spurs' Becky Hammon for head coaching job, an NBA first

Four summers ago, Becky Hammon became the first woman to be hired as a full-time assistant coach in the history of major men’s American sports when she accepted an offer to join Gregg Popovich’s staff with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. This summer, the WNBA legend turned NBA grinder has her sights set on making another barrier-breaking move: one that lands her all the way at the head of the bench.

Wojnarowski reports that Hammon, 41, “isn’t considered a frontline candidate on a Bucks list that included at least 10 possible candidates, but Milwaukee ownership and general manager Jon Horst were intrigued enough to ask the Spurs for permission to speak with her.”

It’s no secret that the Bucks’ owners respect Hammon’s acumen. Last summer, they contacted her over their general manager opening, despite her having no previous front-office experience. She didn’t wind up making their final list, and returned to the Spurs for a fourth season.

After essentially interning with San Antonio’s coaching staff during the 2013-14 NBA season while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, Hammon, then a star point guard for the WNBA’s San Antonio Silver Stars, announced her retirement in 2014 and moved into a spot on the Spurs’ staff. Popovich raved about the “basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills” she displayed during that year-long introduction, praised her work as a full-time staffer, and gave her the chance to coach the Spurs’ entrant in the 2015 NBA Summer League; she repaid it by winning the tournament, touching off leaguewidediscussion over when — not if — Hammon would get an opportunity to make even more history as the NBA’s first female head coach.

33 PHOTOS
Becky Hammon through her career
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Becky Hammon through her career
UNITED STATES - JULY 23: New York Liberty's Teresa Weatherspoon (left) celebrates with Becky Hammon after a 69-64 win over the Houston Comets at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 18: Becky Hammon #25 of the New York Liberty drives to the basket during a WNBA Game against the Los Angeles Sparks on July 18, 2002 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/WNBAE/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 22: Becky Hammon #25 of the New York Liberty puts a shot up over Vicky Bullett #40 of the Washington Mystics during Game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on August 22,2002 at MCI Center in Washington, DC. The Mystics won 79-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright 2002 WNBAE (Photo by: Mitchell Layton/WNBAE/Getty Images)
San Antonio Silver Stars' Becky Hammon (C), playing for the Western Conference goes up for a basket infront of Detroit Shock's Kara Braxton (R) and Detroit Shock's Deanna Nolan (L), both playing for the Eastern Conference in the second quarter of the WNBA All-Star game in Washington July 15, 2007. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES)
WASHINGTON - JULY 15: Becky Hammon #25 of the San Antonio Silver Stars is interviewed by NBATV during the Dribble, Dish & Swish Competition prior to the 2007 WNBA All-Star Game on July 15, 2007 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Jeffrey Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 15: Becky Hammon #25 and Sophia Young #33 of the Western Conference All-Stars pose for a portrait prior to the 2007 WNBA All-Star game presented by Discover Card on July 15, 2007 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 14: Becky Hammon of the Western Conference All-Stars is interviewed by reporters following the West Open Practice during on July 14, 2007 at the Boys and Girls Club Clubhouse 14 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JULY 13: Becky Hammon #25 of the San Antonio Silver Stars poses for a portrait during the 2007 WNBA All-Star Media Availability on July 13, 2007 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2007 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan (L, rear), retired Spurs great David Robinson (R) and San Antonio Silver Stars Becky Hammon hold the trophy after winning the Shooting Stars portion of the NBA All-Star basketball skills competition in New Orleans, Louisiana February 16, 2008. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES)
Becky Hammon of Russia celebrates with coaches after Russia defeated China to win the women's basketball bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 23, 2008. REUTERS/Sergio Perez (CHINA)
Kobe Bryant of the U.S. (R) signs a jersey for Becky Hammon of the Russian team during the gold medal women's basketball game between the U.S. and Australia at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 23, 2008. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (CHINA)
TNT analyst Kenny Smith (L) formerly of the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Silver Stars' Becky Hammon (C) from the WNBA and Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki (R), all a part of team Texas, celebrate with each other during the Shooting Stars Competition portion of the NBA All-Star weekend in Dallas, Texas February 13, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 29 : Becky Hammon #25 of the San Antonio Silver Stars is interviewed after the WNBA game against the Detroit Shock on August 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Silver Stars won in overtime 100-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Katie Clementson/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 29: Becky Hammon #25 of the San Antonio Silver Stars shouts a play during the game against the Detroit Shock on August 29, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 15: (L-R) Ruth Riley #00, Sophia Young #33, and Becky Hammon #25 of the San Antonio Silver Stars rest on the sidelines during the WNBA game against the Phoenix Mercury on August 15, 2009 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Silver Stars won 106-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Becky Hammon #9 of Russia looks on against Australia during the Women's Basketball Bronze Medal game on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 7: Becky Hammon #9 of Russia dribbles against Turkey during their Basketball Game on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena on August 7, 2012 in London, England. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 13: Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs and Ryan Arcidiacono #16 of the San Antonio Spurs talk during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2016 NBA Las Vegas Summer League game on July 13, 2016 at the Cox Pavillion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO TX - OCTOBER 18: Becky Hammon of the San Antionio Spurs coahes during an open scrimmage on October 18, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Becky Hammon, honoree of the WNBA Top 20@20 ceremony presented by Verizon during halftime of Game 1 between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks during the WNBA Finals on October 9, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 11: Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs arrives at the arena before Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs looks on against the Chicago Bulls during the 2016 NBA Las Vegas Summer League game on July 12, 2016 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs talks to her team during the game against the Chicago Bulls during the 2016 NBA Las Vegas Summer League game on July 12, 2016 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - June 25: Becky Hammon is honored by the San Antonio Stars with a jeresey retirement ceremony at the AT&T Center on June 25, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 6: Becky Hammon and Chip Engelland of the San Antonio Spurs talk during warm ups before Game Three of the Western Conference Semi Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 6, 2016 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 2: San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon stands on the court before the game against the New York Knicks on November 2, 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler /NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 13: Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs talks to Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA All-Star Practice as part of 2016 All-Star Weekend at the Ricoh Coliseum on February 13, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bruce Yeung/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 12: Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs speaks with Assistant Coach, Becky Hammon before a preseason game against the Miami Heat on October 12, 2015 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 11: Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs speaks to the team during a game the New York Knicks during the game on July 11, 2015 at Thomas And Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Ime Udoka and Becky Hammon assistant coaches of the San Antonio Spurs talk during the 2015 NBA Las Vegas Summer League game on July 12, 2015 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 22: Assistant Coach Becky Hammon and Boris Diaw #33 of the San Antonio Spurs before a game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
BERLIN - OCTOBER 7: Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs look on during practice as part of the 2014 Global Games on October 7, 2014 at the O2 Arena in Berlin, Germany. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 10: Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Assistant Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs look on during practice as part of the NBA Global Games on October 10, 2014 at the Darussafaka Practice Facility in Istanbul, Turkey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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“I think a female coaching a team these days has got a lot to do with the people on the teams maturing as individuals, as civil members of a society, understanding that it’s not about any of those things,” Popovich said during a 2015 radio interview. “It’s about talent. It’s about respect. And I think, you know, people like Becky, over time, who gain respect and people understand that this is possible … it can happen.”

Hammon has spent the intervening years developing into one of Popovich’s most trusted voices on a staff that includes several other highly regarded assistants — European coaching legend Ettore Messina, former Orlando Magic interim coach James Borrego, former NBA player and longtime San Antonio staple Ime Udoka — reported to be in the running for the multiple open coaching positions in the NBA this summer.

“She’s established a great presence in our group,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford told Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel earlier this year, when she arose as a potential candidate for the men’s basketball coaching job at her alma mater, Colorado State, before deciding to stay in the NBA. (Hammon also reportedly considered an offer to take over the women’s hoops program at the University of Florida, before making the same decision.) “She’s got the respect of our coaches, our players and our organization. She has great insight at two different levels, both in the coaching environment and strategic discussions and she can also take [instruction] to our players and discuss with them.”

Hammon’s work has generated widespread respect outside the Spurs organization, too.

“I think she should be a candidate for any teams that do have openings,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last month during his annual meeting with The Associated Press sports editors. “I think Becky has done an excellent job of sort of breaking through that glass ceiling for a lot of women. She’s highly respected around the league with the work she is doing in San Antonio […] If I were a team that needed an NBA coach, she would be on my list.”

As she continues to build her résumé and move toward a potential new first for women in men’s sports, Hammon seemed to express “ambivalence about her role as a pioneer,” according to Louisa Thomas, who recently wrote a feature on Hammon for The New Yorker:

She recognizes that she is an inspiration for many young women, and a target for many wary men. At the same time, she resists the attention to her gender. “If you don’t want a female coach, don’t hire one!” she said, with some exasperation. But, she continued, if “you want to hire somebody who’s qualified and will do a good job, then maybe you should consider me.”

Her current boss certainly thinks you should, anyway. More from Thomas:

Popovich said, “She knows what she knows and she knows what she doesn’t, and, what she doesn’t know, she gets her ass in the film room, or nails down one of the other coaches.” He added, “I think she’s a star.”

Whether or not Hammon winds up booking the Bucks’ job — and with it, the chance to coach All-NBA game-breaker Giannis Antetokounmpo — that star, it appears, is on the rise.

33 PHOTOS
The best photos from the 2017-18 NBA season
See Gallery
The best photos from the 2017-18 NBA season
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 13: Dwight Howard #12 of the Charlotte Hornets goes after a loose ball against Devin Harris #34 of the Dallas Mavericks during their game at Spectrum Center on October 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - OCTOBER 10: Elfrid Payton #2 of the Orlando Magic battles Amida Brimah #37 of the San Antonio Spurs for a loose ball, at AT&T Center on October 10, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 23: Mirza Teletovic #35 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a three point shot against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of a game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on October 23, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 27: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors and Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards gets tangled up in a fight during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game at ORACLE Arena on October 27, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Mario Hezonja #8 of the Orlando Magic reaches for the ball in the second half against the Orlando Magic during their game at Barclays Center on October 20, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - NOVEMBER 7: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs steals the ball from Patrick Beverley #21 of the Los Angeles Clippers at AT&T Center on November 7, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 06: Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns battles for a loose ball with Timofey Mozgov #20 and Allen Crabbe #33 of the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on November 6, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks exchange words in the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17: Frank Kaminsky #44 of the Charlotte Hornets tries to shoot against Robin Lopez #42 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on November 17, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 15: Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in the first overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 119-117 in triple overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 01: Jakob Poeltl #42 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball as Thaddeus Young #21 of the Indiana Pacers defends during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on December 1, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 18: JJ Redick #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers is called for an offensive foul against Kris Dunn #32 of the Chicago Bulls as he puts up a shot at the United Center on December 18, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 117-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 13: Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up to dunk the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 13, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 20: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after sinking a three point shot against the Miami Heat during the second quarter at TD Garden on December 20, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 2: Referee Steve Anderson #35 listens to Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after Thomas was charged with a technical foul during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Quicken Loans Arena on January 2, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 29: Malcolm Delaney #5 of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles the ball as Delon Wright #55 of the Toronto Raptors defends during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on December 29, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 12: Meyers Leonard #11 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half at the Smoothie King Center on January 12, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 11: Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is fouled as he drives to the basket by Daniel Theis #27 of the Boston Celtics during a game at TD Garden on February 11, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 4: Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets dunks the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks during the game at Barclays Center on February 4, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 10: Marcin Gortat #13 of the Washington Wizards is fouled by Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 101-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks over Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - MARCH 07: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Toronto Raptors dunks the ball over Ish Smith #14 of the Detroit Pistons in the first half of an NBA game at Little Caesars Arena on March 7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Raptors defeat the Pistons 121-119. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 19: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets takes a shot against Briante Weber #3 of the Memphis Grizzlies in the fourth quarter during their game at Barclays Center on March 19, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Nov 5, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jeff Green (left) pressures him during the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. The Hawks won 117-115. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 22, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (3) dives onto the scorers table diving for a ball heading out of bounds during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 26, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) reacts to missing a shot in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Nov 27, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Avery Bradley (22) grabs a hold of Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Los Angeles Lakers guard Briante Weber (12) comes face to face with Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) under the basket in the second half of the game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA, U.S., October 4, 2017. USA TODAY Sports/Jayne Kamin-Oncea/File Photo SEARCH "POY SPORT" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Dec 22, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) blocks a shot by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Jan 6, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and Orlando Magic guard Mario Hezonja (8) go after the rebound the hits James in the face during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 5, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) slam dunks during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Apr 11, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Markelle Fultz (20) is doused with water by guard Ben Simmons (25) and center Amir Johnson (5) after recording his first triple double in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mar 29, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (42) shoots defended by Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half of an NBA game at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Dan Devine is a writer and editor for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@oath.com or follow him on Twitter!

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