As recently as last week, there were up to seven head coach vacancies around the NBA, leaving many San Antonio Spurs fans worried that long-time assistant coach Becky Hammon would be making the leap to head coach elsewhere.
Soon after the Spurs won their fifth championship in 2014, it was announced that Becky Hammon was hired as the Spurs' newest assistant head coach, making her the second female assistant head coach in league history.
Four years later, Coach Hammon was then promoted to the front row of assistant coaches for the Spurs in 2018 and has since remained there for the team. Over the past couple of years, as more and more head coaching vacancies began to rear their ugly heads, fans became increasingly worried that Hammon's time with the Spurs would be ending sooner rather than later.
Head coaching options are narrowing for San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon
A tumultuous regular season and offseason have led to a large number of opened head coaching jobs, which ended up totaling seven vacancies. Specifically, head coaching jobs opened up for the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Portland Trailblazers.
In the process of filling these vacancies, Becky Hammon was knowingly linked to at least three organizations in their search for a new head coach. It was rumored earlier this month that Hammon would be interviewing for the Orlando Magic head coaching job, then came the rumor that the Indiana Pacers considered Hammon as a favorite for the job, and finally, it was announced that she made it to the final round of interviews for the Portland Trailblazers' coaching vacancy, making her the first woman to make it that far in the interview process.
For Spurs fans that were hoping to see Hammon as the Spurs' next head coach, this news was about as grim as news could get. Given that she had been in the conversation to become the league's first female head coach for years, it was looking more than likely that it would finally come to fruition this offseason. Frankly, given the amount of respect she has amassed around the league, that promotion is overdue.
That being said, despite the fact that her name seemed to be everywhere, the coaching vacancies began filling up. Most recently, it was announced that the Portland Trailblazers were committed to hiring L.A. Clippers assistant coach Chauncey Billups as their newest head coach. Before that, the Mavericks announced their intention to hire Jason Kidd as their newest head coach, that Rick Carlisle would be returning to the Indiana Pacers, and that former Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka would be brought on as the Celtics' newest head coach.
So, what does this mean for Coach Hammon? It appears as if the only teams still in need of a head coach are the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, and New Orleans Pelicans. Out of those three franchises, Hammon has only been asked to interview with the Magic (at least to our knowledge).
Before the announcement that Chauncey Billups will likely become the next Trailblazers head coach, that team by far appeared to be the biggest threat to sign Hammon. While she was also linked to the Magic, there has been no word of her status with that organization since roughly June 12.
So, as much as Coach Hammon deserves one of these head coaching jobs, the Spurs may be lucky enough to escape another offseason with her remaining on the team, but they aren't out of the woods quite yet. There's no telling at this point where she'll end up, but if we get to see her as the head coach of another team next season, as much as it may sting, it would be well worthy of celebration.