‘Remarkable achievement’: Aces coach Becky Hammon praised by Gregg Popovich following first WNBA title

Aces won first WNBA title and Las Vegas’ first professional title on Sunday

Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis, celebrates his team's win with Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon in the WNBA basketball finals against the Connecticut Sun, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) (Jessica Hill, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich didn’t waste any time congratulating Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon following her team’s WNBA championship win.

The Aces won their first WNBA title and the city’s first professional title on Sunday night in Game 4 against the Connecticut Sun.

This is Hammon’s first championship in the WNBA — won just less than a year after leaving the Spurs, where she was an assistant coach to Popovich.

In the minutes after the win, Popovich released a statement via the Spurs to congratulate Hammon and the organization.

“We are thrilled for coach Hammon. Winning a championship is a remarkable achievement for a first-time head coach in her first year with a team. Yet I’m not at all surprised by her success,” Popovich said. “Becky has proved over-and-over that she has a unique understanding and passion for the game of basketball. Congratulations to Becky, her players and the entire Aces organization. They played the right way the entire season and were a joy to watch.”

The Austin Spurs also shared their praise for the team.

Chelsea Gray scored 20 points to lead the Aces in a 78-71 victory, and was named Finals MVP.

Vegas finished on an 8-0 run. As the buzzer sounded, league MVP A’ja Wilson, who played every minute of the game, grabbed the ball and stomped the floor before being mobbed by her teammates.

“They’re unbelievable on the court, but they’re unbelievable humans, first and foremost,” Hammon said. “They care about each other. They invest in each other. It’s been an absolute honor to be their coach. I saw excellence and I wanted to be a part of it.”

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.