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The WNBA announced on Tuesday that Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon will be suspended two games without pay for violating league and team ‘Respect in the Workplace’ policies in regard to Dearica Hamby. In addition, the Aces will lose their first round pick in 2025.
Hamby, a two-time WNBA All-Star, was traded from Vegas to Los Angeles at the end of January. Not long thereafter, she took to Instagram with claims of mistreatment surrounding her second pregnancy.
Dearica Hamby spoke out.
Hamby claimed that the forthcoming birth of her second child was a direct factor into the team’s decision to trade her to the Sparks. She also said that the team held her pregnancy against her and called the treatment “traumatizing.”
I was asked if I planned my pregnancy. When I responded, ‘no,’ I was then told that I ‘was not taking precautions to not get pregnant.’ I was being traded because ‘I wouldn’t be ready and we need bodies.’ I planned to play this season, and I have expressed my desire to play this season. I have pushed myself throughout my entire pregnancy and have continued to work out (basketball included) on my own and with the team staff — even on days where it was uncomfortable to walk, only to be inaccurately told that ‘I was not taking my workouts seriously.’— Dearica Hamby
Hamby added that the Aces were dishonest with her during her contract negotiations and later accused her of signing the extension while knowingly pregnant. That was untrue.
Furthermore, Hamby claimed that she was “met with coldness, disrespect and disregarded from members of management.” Her statement took aim at the other women in the WNBA.
Hammon, specifically, is a mother of two.
To be treated this way by an organization, BY WOMEN who are mothers, who have claimed to ‘be in these shoes,’ who preach family, chemistry, and women’s empowerment is disappointing and leaves me sick to my stomach.— Dearica Hamby
As soon as Hamby’s claims hit the internet, the WNBA opened an investigation.
The WNBA’s investigation found Becky Hammon and the Aces guilty.
A two+ month investigation came to a conclusion Tuesday. WNBA officials spoke with 33 people, and reviewed all of the evidence at its disposal.
It found that Hammon had made comments “to Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy” but did not expand further. Hammon and her organization were found to have violated the league’s ‘Respect in the Workplace’ policies. The Aces were also found guilty of offering impermissible benefits during Hamby’s contract extension negotiations.
As a result, the league chose to suspended Hammon and revoke the team’s next first-round draft pick. Las Vegas traded its first round pick for 2024, so now it will no longer pick in 2025.
Here is the official statement:
Becky Hammon will return on May 27 against Dearica Hamby.
Hammon, 46, took over as head coach of the Aces in December of 2021. Las Vegas won the 2022 WNBA Finals and she became the first rookie head coach to win the WNBA title.
Prior to her time with the Aces, Hammon played 15 years in the WNBA with the Liberty and Stars before moving into coaching in 2014. Gregg Popvich hired her to his staff in San Antonio in 2015, which made Hammon the second female coach in NBA history.
Hammon made history again less than one year later. She became the first-ever female head coach in the NBA’s Summer League and led the Spurs to a title that year.
In 2016, Hammon became the first woman to be a part of an All-Star coaching staff. In 2017, she was interviewed for the position of general manager with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Most recently, it was rumored that Hammon was set to interview for the head coaching job with the Toronto Raptors. Amid the reports, Hammon said that she loves “being back on the women’s side.”
She added that she doesn’t “need the stamp of approval from the NBA.”
Now, with the Las Vegas Aces set to begin their title defense on May 20, Hammon will not be on the sideline. Same with May 25.
Hammon’s first game back will come at home against Hamby’s new team, the Sparks. Spicy!