Becky Hammon: 'There's people that have to ... see the potential there and really not care'

By Greg Simmons - Sports Anchor/Director

SAN ANTONIO - Becky Hammon admits she has not had any discussions with Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich on how her role could change as an assistant to a five-time NBA Champion with the departure of fellow assistant coaches Ime Udoka and Ettore Messina.

"We haven't had those conversations yet," Hammon said after Thursday's practice for the Spurs summer league participants. "My focus is on summer league."

Hammon is the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA and became the first woman head coach of the NBA Summer League when she led the Spurs to the title in 2015.   

She is now about to start her sixth season as a Spurs assistant coach and -- one could argue at this point -- is Pop's number one assistant.  

Hammon's advancement on the sidelines has helped open so many doors for other women in the NBA, including Lindsay Gottlieb, who was hired as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Boston Celtics on Thursday announced the hiring of Kara Lawson, a former WNBA player and broadcaster, as their new assistant coach.  

"It's exciting. I think the more qualified people we get in the door, the better," Hammon said. "The Cavs getting coach Gottlieb, I think, is a great hire and something different. She didn't come from the pro side, so I'm excited that game recognizes game and it's starting to translate into real jobs and real opportunities for women."

Hammon's name has been mentioned in connection with several head coaching vacancies in the NBA but, so far, no offers to our knowledge -- yet.   

"We're all in this thing together," Hammond points out. "R.C., Pop hired me. There's people that have to help along and see the potential there, and really not care what bathroom you walk into."

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