Becky Hammon Wants To Be Hired Because She Is Most Qualified, Not Because She Is Female

While everyone was rooting for her to become the first female head coach in NBA history, Becky Hammon said she always knew where she stood in the Portland Trail Blazers’ search — and that’s totally fine with her.

“I knew I was second; I knew who they wanted,” Hammon told CNBC of the search. “And I’m OK with that because every race I’ve gotten into my entire life, I’ve been behind, and I’m OK with that. And that’s just how it is — but at the same time, I’m not ignorant to what I’m going up against.”

Hammon said she felt the Blazers were “authentic” in their coaching search. 

The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach spoke to CNBC about her experience being considered for the Blazers’ head coach job and why she’s ready for a more prominent role in the league, and said she never pretended she was the favorite heading into the interviews with the team.

“I’m not mad,” Hammon said. “This is the business, and it’s a very competitive business. But, at the end of the day, throw everything out the window — if you want to hire me, you’ll find a reason to hire me. And if you don’t want to hire me, you’ll find that reason, too. And that’s just that.”

Hammon spent 16 seasons in the WNBA — starting in New York with the Liberty, making six All-Star appearances and retiring in San Antonio in 2014 — and said she’s ready for the challenge of leading a team of her own.

CNBC reports that Hammon, 44, remains an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and when asked why she’s ready for one of 30 head coaching jobs in the league, she pointed to her professional growth under coach Gregg Popovich.

Whether she’d be the right fit for those teams is unclear.

“I need to be the right coach — not male or female — the right coach, for the right team, in the right city, at the right time,” she said. 

While social media calls for Hammon to make history as the first female head coach, she has her own plan.

“I don’t want to make the news because I’m the first female,” Hammon said. “At the end of the day, I want to make news because I’m hired for my qualifications. It was the original intent of Gregg Popovich when he hired me in 2014 — which is: ‘She added something to the group. She adds something to our team. I admire her mind and the way she looks at the game.’”

And when she does land a top NBA coaching job, Hammon said, she said she welcomes everything that comes with it.

“I’m ready to be scrutinized,” Hammon said. “Whether I do it all wrong or do it all right — it is what it is. My job is to show up for the players and be the leader and person that believes in them the most.”

“When the world is giving them a pile of s— and throwing stuff in their ears, I’m the voice of honesty to say, ‘Hey, this is what it looks like — this is how it’s got to be, and if you’re down, I’m down to make it work,’” she said. “I don’t know how to put it to you any other way. The truth always works.”

“I am happy with what’s happening — the needle is moving,” Hammon said, per CNBC. “Am I content? No. And contentment has never brought anything great. There are different prices to pay to get where you want to go. And I’m at that point.”

Follow Meg Turner on Twitter @Megnturner_ and Instagram @Megnturner.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. Greg Popovich is a commie piece of shit. If Becky wants to be an NBA head head coach maybe she should get the hell away from that dickhead. Don’t want any commie rubbing off on her.

  2. Popovich is 72. San Antonio isn’t close to winning anything anytime soon. Why would he keep hanging around? It wouldn’t surprise me when he retires she gets the gig.

  3. This is a win/LOSE proposition for the NBA. They’ll be celebrated for being so fair and open minded when they hire her, then in three years they’ll be labeled as sexist and patriarchal when they fire her. Then she’ll whine about how mean the players and organization was to her and go on a national book selling tour. On second thought, is there any league in the world that would deserve being raked over the coals more than the NBA?

  4. Becky Hammon is no victim here. If any victims are more black men coaches in the nba of a league 80% black. Before this first LGBQT coach there needs to be a black female coach if any. Now that the players are using this platform to gain more black men coaching in the nba we want to Segway to female ,LGBQT, brown, coaches let’s no forget the horrible track record of the nba hiring black men to coach once this is rectified then we can talk about female coaches and that candidate should be Teresa Witherspoon or Lisa Leslie

  5. Or let Popovich give up his job for her. It’s his and the nba social experiment. Like Doris Burke is Espn social experiment. It all comes down to taking away black men’s jobs that both mba and espn have horrible records on the hiring of black men. When white men dominated these positions nothing said about female LGBQT brown coaches needed league been around 70 plus years ESPN 40 plus years. The truth you might not like it. Deal with it. Be a advocate for more black men coaching in the nba and on espn we still have a long way to go.

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