After retiring from the WNBA, former San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon will become the first woman to be a full-time coach in the NBA. She will join Greg Popovich's staff on the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach. Hammon was a WNBA All-Star six times. Last season, she spent a lot of time attending Spurs' film sessions and practices after she tore her ACL in her left knee. This familiarity will help her transition to the coaching aspect. In addition, her breakthrough in a male dominant field will help other women become coaches in the NBA too.
Previously, there was Natalie Nakase, currently a video coordinator assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers, who spent 10 days as an assistant on the summer league staff. Before that, in 2009, Nancy Lieberman was head coach of the Texas Legends, a team affiliated with the NBA Developmental League. Hammon has achieved the unthinkable, as she will now officially coach in the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs were always forerunners in innovation. They're known for having quality international players on their roster such as Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, and Patty Mills. This upcoming season, renowned Italian coach Ettore Messina will also be an assistant coach to Popovich. Previously, he was a consultant for Mike Brown when Brown was head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs don't just try to break tradition. They recognize people's talents and give them opportunity to shine. Only time will tell when a woman will officially become a head coach in the NBA.
Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime. Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.