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On Tuesday, OutKick’s Grayson Weir reported on the WNBA suspending Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon. The league says Hammon violated their “Respect in the Workplace” policy with regard to Dearica Hamby. The team traded Hamby, who claimed her pregnancy was the reason why.
From Weir’s story: “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 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.”
The WNBA suspended Hammon two games and took away a first-round pick from the team.
Becky Hammon took issue with the WNBA investigation’s findings regarding Dearica Hamby
On Wednesday, Hammon responded to the punishment, disagreeing with the league’s findings.
“I don’t recall my relationship with Hamby being anything but on the up-and-up, and I’m just — obviously along with the organization — disappointed with the findings,” Hammon said, according to ESPN.
“It’s never [good] to have your name be associated with something like that, which is not who you are as a person. That’s not how I operate. I did talk to my team; they were great. I have to say they’ve been very professional throughout this whole process.”
“I never had one bad text between me and Dearica Hamby or email,” Hammon continued. “First of all, I don’t email my players. I talk to them directly. But we do exchange texts, and anything that is less than the up-and-up I can tell you is adamantly false and not true from any person in this organization.”
The team released a statement that defended Hammon.
“The WNBA’s determinations about Becky Hammon are inconsistent with what we know and love about her. Becky is a caring human being who forges close personal relationships with her players. We stand behind Coach Hammon as she continues to lead the Las Vegas Aces,” the statement read, in part.
Hammon’s return comes against the Sparks
As Weir pointed out, Hammon’s first game back after her suspension comes against the Los Angeles Sparks on May 27. That’s Dearica Hamby’s current team.
It will be interesting to see if there are any fireworks between the pair of women.
It’s also interesting to wonder if this affect’s Hammon’s chances of getting an NBA head coaching job. People have long considered her to be the most likely woman to eventually lead an NBA team.
Commissioner Adam Silver said last year that he’d be “hugely disappointed” if the NBA didn’t have a female head coach in the next five years.
At least if Hammon gets an NBA head coaching gig, she won’t have to worry about treating pregnant players fairly.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak