Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon will become the first woman to serve as an assistant coach in the NBA All-Star Game, and told For The Win that it nearly did not happen because of Greg Popovich’s reluctance to coach the Western Conference team.
Hammon and other assistant coaches reportedly convinced Popovich to head to Toronto and coach.
“Life just has a funny way of just getting better,” she said. “I was able to take advantage of an opportunity and obviously when you’re an assistant coach to arguably the best coach in basketball history there’s lots of perks that come with it.”
Hammon was named the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history in 2014 and also became the first female head coach of an NBA Summer League team. She led the Spurs to the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League title.
“I can’t tell you just how many women come up to me and they’re so proud—and men too,” she said. “Dads that have daughters and sisters and mothers, they’re just so genuinely excited that doors and opportunities are now being opened.”
Hammon is also a former WNBA star of the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.