Becky Hammon Leads Spurs In A Summer Loss Against Knicks


Prompted by a surprise turnover, coach Becky Hammon launched to the court. It wasn’t her stern face, or vocals that drew everyone’s attention, but her bouncing brunette ponytail. The San Antonio Spurs were down by three points against the NY Knicks, with only 16 seconds left in regulation play. Hammon quickly changed from watching the court, to designing the next play for her team. Everyone in the arena could see that she was serious, and didn’t care if the game was only a Summer league exhibition.

Without missing a step, Hammon took the leadership coaching role amongst a bevy of more experienced, and taller male assistants. Though she used all of her strategic basketball knowledge, including a 16-year All-Star career with the San Antonio Silver Stars, the Spurs lost to the Knicks 78-73 in overtime play. After a missed three point shot by Jarrell Eddie, it was a disappointing summer opener for the Knicks.


The outcome of this Saturday’s game was eclipsed by Hammon’s brush with history. She became the first female coach to lead an NBA team in league play. The former Liberty star has coached for two seasons under Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

Throughout the game, little spectator attention was given to Hammon. Fans seem to be more taken with an appearance by rookie Kristaps Porgingis and other club stars. They didn’t even seem to mind her black warm-up pants next to everyone else’s sports attire. During the post-game handshake, she was treated with respect by the Knicks players, and earned several long nods and smiles. Before the game, Hall Of Fame NBA D-League coach Nancy Lieberman blew an obligatory kiss to Hammon from the stands.

Becky is not the first female coach in the NBA. Lindsey Harding, a No.1 draft pick, has led the Toronto Raptors. Nancy Lieberman assists coach Carl with the Sacramento Kings. Hammon however, is the first female to have authority in running an NBA Summer League team. It was evident that during the Spurs and Knicks game, Hammon took this honor very seriously.


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