She's a Keeper: Spurs Hire WNBA Vet as Assistant Coach
Many sports fans are rising -- literally or figuratively -- in a standing ovation as they witnessed a historic move this past week.
The current NBA champion San Antonio Spurs announced their hiring of Becky Hammon as assistant coach.
There's absolutely no question she earned her way into the position. And there's also no question that Head Coach Greg Popovich saw he had a gem in the making:
While Hammon's accomplishment is impressive and surrounded by pomp and circumstance, she is not the first woman in NBA history on an NBA coaching staff. That title officially goes to Lisa Boyer, who worked for the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers as an assistant coach and joined on the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching staff under John Lucas in 2001-2002. Boyer is now the associate head coach for the South Carolina women's basketball team.
Maybe Boyer lacked the sparkle needed to bring awareness to the call for equality. Why do I say that? For some strange reason CBS Sports made the following lame statement:
|Lisa Boyer was a 'volunteer assistant coach' on John Lucas’ coaching staff for the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2002. Boyer participated in the home practices and was on the side next to assistant Chuck Person for all of the Cavs’ home games, but did not travel with the team. At the time, only two assistant coaches were allowed to sit on the team bench, so Boyer and Person had to be situated nearby but not directly on the bench.|
Perhaps they're falling back on a technicality, as Boyer's paycheck was written by the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers.
OK, but was it really necessary th diminish her accomplishments in order to display Hammon's?
It was kinda tacky, if you ask me. But let's look at the bright side. Hammon is a Spur. She deserves it, and she's ready for the job. She's been part of the family for months, first on its sister squad, and then with her "internship," as she called it, which included sitting in on coaches' meetings and film sessions. She paid her dues, went to practice, directed drills, and worked with players.
When it comes to operating a franchise with grace and professionalism the San Antonio Spurs are in a class by themselves. Once again, they've shown not only the league but the world how to be winners.
And the move does come with side benefits.