A Matter of When, Not If, Becky Hammon Becomes NBA's First Female Head Coach

May 10, 2018

By Max Godnick

The last person to break glass in the NBA was Shaquille O'Neal, 25 years ago.

Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, could be the next.

Hammon interviewed this week to be the head coach of the Milwaukee Buck. A six-time WNBA All-Star, Hammon was the first woman to be an NBA assistant coach and has served on Spurs' Coach Gregg Popovich's staff since 2014. If she were hired by the Bucks, she would be the first woman to coach a men's team in any of the country's four biggest sports leagues ー the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball, and NHL.

Popovich told The New Yorker in April that he believes his assistant is "ready" to lead her own team.

Hammon is up against other, more-experienced candidates for the Bucks job, including the 2015 NBA coach of the year, Mike Budenholzer. Though most NBA pundits think her chances of being hired are slim, the fact that Hammon is being considered may represent progress for gender equality in professional sports, said James Yoder, the founder of Chat Sports.

"It would be a monumental move in sports history for her to get that job," said Yoder in an interview Thursday with Cheddar.

The Bucks will probably not hire Hammon, Yoder said, but it's a matter of when, not if a woman breaks the NBA's glass ceiling, and it's likely to be Hammon.

"I think before too long, maybe one or two seasons, she will end up landing an NBA coaching job," he said.

Yoder added: "Any woman who thought that she couldn't break into men's sports from a coaching perspective has got to be rooting for Becky Hammon."

For the full interview, click here.