The San Antonio Spurs don’t get much national attention anymore, but a recent sitdown interview brought them into the spotlight for a well-deserved reason. On Saturday night, NBC aired Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List, which included Spurs’ Assistant Coach Becky Hammon.
As described in its programming information, the special was created to honor “extraordinary individuals who have made an impact during an unusually challenging year.” Hammon certainly fits the bill in more ways than one as an important member of the Spurs’ coaching staff.
In December 2020, she made headlines for accomplishing what was a long time coming: acting as the first female acting head coach of a team in NBA history. The moment drew congratulations from several prominent world figures, including now Vice President Kamala Harris.
When asked if it dawned on her that she was making such history by host Hoda Kotb, Hammon had a one-sentence answer that encompasses why she’s beloved in San Antonio.
“No, what dawned on me was I want to beat the Lakers,” Hammon replied quickly. While it didn’t happen that time, there’s no question she’ll eventually have the opportunity for plenty of wins as an NBA head coach one day.
“When I was first hired…it was such a jolt to people’s eyes. Like, ‘who’s that? What is she doing?'” said Hammon. Becky became the first full-time female assistant head coach in August 2014. Since then, she’s become one of the most respected coaches in the league, destined for a head coaching opportunity in the near future.
.@BeckyHammon has been featured on NBC News’ 2021 Inspiration List! Catch her conversation with Hoda Kotb tonight coming up at 8pm ET on NBC or Telemundo ? #InspiringAmericaNBC | #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/S1yxHhMak1
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 1, 2021
The San Antonio Spurs would be lucky to have Hammon as head coach
As someone that catches just about every Spurs game, it’s easy to see just how great of a coach Hammon is. She’s engaged, passionate, and has the hunger and drive you need to be successful in such a position. She also knows the game inside and out.
Hammon’s interactions with the team, particularly with guys like Dejounte Murray and DeMar DeRozan, speak volumes. The guys don’t see her as “a female coach”, just a damn good coach in general.
DeMar DeRozan on Becky Hammon: "She’s one of us. When she speaks, we are all ears. It’s great having her."
— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) December 31, 2020
When it’s time for Gregg Popovich to call it quits, which should be on his terms, the Spurs would be fortunate to have Hammon as his successor. The NBA is ready for a female head coach, and Becky Hammon is clearly the one for the job.
You can catch the entire NBC News segment here.