San Antonio Spurs Promote Assistant Coach Becky Hammon to Top Assistant, Replaces James Borrego
Presented by Tony Kirk, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Mid-Florida SHRM
Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was promoted to the front of the bench to fill the vacancy of James Borrego, who left to become the head coach of the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced.
The promotion moves her to the front row of coaches' seats on the sidelines. Hammon previously sat in the row behind the bench during games.
Hammon became the first female full-time assistant coach in NBA history when she was hired in 2014 – a first for female coaches in all four of the major American sports.
Spurs center Pau Gasol wrote an article in The Player's Tribune that applauded Hammon's skills as a coach.
Before joining the Spurs four years ago, Hammon played in the WNBA for 16 years and earned six WNBA All-Star distinctions. This off-season, the Milwaukee Bucks reportedly planned to interview her for a head coaching position.
This promotion is significant because it transcends basketball as she is the 1st female full-time assistant coach in the history of the NBA. She has garnered the respect and adulation of her male counterparts and is destined to be the first female head coach in the NBA.
By being a woman NBA coach, Hammon is questioning the same structure preventing aspiring minority coaches from realizing their potential, just from a different angle. Neither shares the exact same struggle, but the conclusion through both prisms is there needs to be an opening up of opportunities, so the system isn’t biased against race or gender. She has been given that opportunity and is taking full advantage of it.