San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon reacted to the opportunity she received to coach the team in Sunday’s preseason win.
San Antonio Spurs preseason games often see head coach Gregg Popovich take a seat, whether it’s behind the bench or in another section of the arena. He leaves the assistant coaches to handle his duties, receiving the chance to at leading the team for a short stretch.
For Sunday’s preseason game, the Spurs split the duties between two coaches: Becky Hammon and Will Hardy. It was noteworthy, as this was the first chance for Hammon to coach the team in a game. She worked the first half, while Hardy managed the second half.
After the game, Hammon spoke to reporters, something she never had to do as an assistant coach. She reacted to the opportunity and called it “amazing” (via ESPN.com).
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“It’s an amazing opportunity for me,” Hammon said. “But we’re a teaching program, and that comes directly from [Popovich]. So for him to give us this opportunity and the guys here a different voice, that’s what his [coaching] tree is kind of all about. It’s mentoring and bringing people along.”
In the game Hammon coached, the Spurs routed the Denver Nuggets, 122-100. This was behind 21 points from LaMarcus Aldridge and 20 points from Bryn Forbes. The team also shot 16-for-28 from 3-point range, which accounted for 48 of their points.
Hammon joined the Spurs as the first full-time paid female assistant coach in the NBA in 2014. She coached San Antonio in the 2015 NBA Summer League and led the team to the championship. Popovich also had her on 2016 All-Star Game coaching staff.
The Spurs will return on Tuesday, Oct. 10, with a preseason game against the Orlando Magic. The action starts at 8:30 p.m. ET. Which assistant coach will be at the helm for this matchup?