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Becky Hammon Becomes First Woman to Serve as Head Coach in N.B.A. Game


#Though 2020 is nearly over, it keeps turning out sports milestones. #On #Wednesday night, for the first time, a woman served as head coach in an N.B.A. game.

#When #Spurs #Coach #Gregg #Popovich was ejected after arguing with a referee in the second quarter of a game with the #Los #Angeles #Lakers in #San #Antonio, he turned to his assistant, #Becky #Hammon, and indicated that she should take over the team.

“He officially pointed at me,” #Hammon said. “That was it. #Said, ‘You’ve got them.’ #Obviously, it’s a big deal. #It’s a substantial moment.”

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“It was business as usual,’’ she added. “They’re used to hearing my voice in practice. #In practice, #Pop will put us in two teams and we’ll each have a team. #So they’re kind of used to hearing me out there, seeing me draw a play on the board or whatnot.”

#Although not much was made of the milestone during the game, which the #Lakers won, 121-107, reaction poured out afterward and on social media.

“It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets,” said #LeBron #James of the #Lakers. “She’s very passionate about the game. #So congrats to her, congrats to our league.”

#Hammon, 43, played for 16 years in the W.N.B.A., where she was a six-time #All #Star. #After being passed over for the U.S. #Olympic team, she represented #Russia, where she had also played professionally, in the 2008 and 2012 #Games.

#In 2014, she becoming the first full-time female assistant coach in the league. #At the time, she said of #Popovich: “Honestly, I don’t think he gives two cents that I’m a woman. #And I don’t want to be hired because I’m a woman.” #She was head coach of the #Spurs’ #Las #Vegas #Summer #League team three time, winning the title in 2015.

#Hammon’s trailblazing in the league has prompted speculation that she will one day be a head coach, and she has been reported to be a candidate for several top jobs in the past, most recently the #Indiana #Pacers.

“The future is bright for her,” said #Dejounte #Murray of the #Spurs after the game. “I hope she just sticks to it and doesn’t give up. #One day it may happen, it may not happen, who knows, but she’s definitely on the right road.”

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#Hammon sought to keep the focus on her duties.

“I’m just in the moment with the guys,’’ she said. “Trying to figure out what’s the best way to help them.”



[ source link ]
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/31/sports/basketball/becky-hammon-first-woman-nba.html

##Becky ##Hammon ##Woman ##Serve ##Coach #NBA ##Game

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