Ask Becky Hammon for an NBA coaching gig again, I dare you

We all know Becky Hammon can train

We all know Becky Hammon can train
photo: Jessica Hill (AP)

Becky Hammon for the NBA feels like a tired tale revived on occasions like International Women’s Day to remind sports fans that she’s more than capable of leading a basketball team in any league. I won’t do that, however, because I want to emphasize how draining this narrative is — not for men who hate a woke agenda in their sports talk, but for the women I’m sure are literally weary of men doing the same to say damn things about Hammon.

How many times do you think she’s been asked what the difference is between coaching men and women? Or why hasn’t she landed an NBA head coaching gig yet? Or if she plans to pursue an opening. I remember hearing an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates a few years ago, and the author was genuinely shocked when the first question wasn’t “Between the World and Me,” his New York Times bestseller, which was borderline White Book Clubs was co-opted as the de facto book on race relations.

And this is how I feel when I read interviews with Hammon. We want her so badly to be a beacon for progress and assume that not only does she want that, but anything she wants to talk about. Not to mention the bullshit parade that comes with breaking that barrier, or the not-so-subtle shots at her ability she has to endure to get there.

Case and point, the Portland Trail Blazers

When Hammon was at his peak as a Spurs candidate, she was told “You’ve only been to San Antonio and you’ve never been a head coach,” as if that has put teams off before. Gregg Popovichs coaching tree is one of the most impressive in all sports, and the length of time Hammon has worked for him should almost have guaranteed her a position as NBA head coach.

That leads me to believe that the problem isn’t Hammon – which she obviously isn’t – but rather the people in the front offices. The best example of this was when the The Portland Trail Blazers passed Hammon for Chauncy Billupswho was then an assistant freshman and was also accused of rape in 1997. (Billups Claims that the sex was consensual, and he was never charged. According to WaPo, Billups and the alleged victim have settled out of court.)

Things were looking bad back then, and nothing Billups has done since arriving in Portland has increased the franchise or fixed the defense. If you want to be triggered, have a look ESPN’s article published today about Blazers GM Joe Cronin hiring WNBA players as part of his staff.

It’s not the substance that irks me – it’s great that he’s giving Tina Thompson, Asjha Jones and other women a chance – it’s the blatant PR ploy of dropping this article on International Women’s Day. A season and a half after the team bypassed a championship-level candidate to hire someone still learning on the job, check out how Cronin is empowering women.

give me a fucking break The title of the play should have read, “Blazers are trying to atone for Hammon’s blunder by hiring women in positions other than head coaching.”

Another path to a woman becoming an NBA head coach

I realize that the only people with the chutzpah to hire a woman as head coach are women. I’m sure if Thompson and Jones had been in Cronin’s ear when the team was looking for a replacement for Terry Stotts, they would have vouched for Hammon, or at least their gender’s ability to manage a basketball team.

Men coach women on a regular basis, and this point is probably as boring as the Hammon for Head Coach story. So, I’ll leave that to you: the next time you want to nominate a woman for an NBA head coaching job, nominate more than just Hammon — because while she could be the nominee of choice, she is not the only oneand she may not even want to. Ask Becky Hammon for an NBA coaching gig again, I dare you

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