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Why Isn't Becky Hammon an NBA Coach Yet

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Joined: 04 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: 11/15/18 7:51 pm    ::: Why Isn't Becky Hammon an NBA Coach Yet Reply Reply with quote

Quotes from Pop:

"She has the ability as far as innate knowledge of the game, a feel for the game, a work ethic,” he said. “She’s gained the respect of all of our players, including guys that are no longer here, like Manu (Ginobili) and Tim (Duncan) and Tony (Parker), so all that’s in place.

“But my personal belief is, it’s gonna take somebody that has some courage and isn’t steeped in the old status quo of who can coach and who can’t. Why can’t a woman do what I’m doing or what anybody else is doing in the NBA?”

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PostPosted: 11/16/18 10:42 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I think there are a couple of reasons ...

First, there's a large pool of qualified candidates, obviously most of them male. I'm sure the same quote about ability could be applied to multiple assistant coaches on every team.

So there are 30 teams -- let's say there are 50 totally qualified candidates, Becky Hammon among them. The odds aren't that good.

Second, there is substantial misogyny among NBA players, and Hammon would face a major task that other candidates wouldn't before she could even get started. Her first job would be to overcome the resistance of several players on the roster to a woman having authority over them, a job that no male coach would have to deal with.

And third, the old boys' network is strong. After all, if you've worked with and/or known someone for 20 years, you're going to have a good sense of what they can and cannot do. And there's also a sense of obligation to those who have helped you in the past, or supported you, or worked for you -- and Hammon doesn't have those connections.

It's no one's fault, and it's not necessarily sexism in the third case, but it's a reality.

All that said, it certainly appears she could handle the basketball side of it with ease ... but my sense is she needs to pay some more dues as an assistant before she gets a real chance at a head job.

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PostPosted: 11/16/18 12:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yeah, "Why isn't X an NBA head coach yet?" is an article that could be written about a whole host of people, but Becky being female obviously makes it more of a story. I was watching Nick Nurse as a head coach in Manchester 20 years ago, and he's spent all that time working his way up, including over a decade in the NBA system somewhere or other. He got his first NBA head coaching job this year. A guy like Patrick Ewing was a legendary player, sat on NBA benches as an assistant for 15 years, then finally decided to say 'screw it' and take a college job. This often takes a bloody long time even if you're part of the boys' club.

I still think Becky's best chance is if Pop retires and anoints her as his successor on his way out. The Spurs seem more likely to take that risk than anyone else, plus the players would already know her and have a familiarity with her. But that'll be a tough gig for anyone. It's hard to follow a legend - you're usually better off being the person who gets the job after that first successor takes the heat for the inevitable drop-off.

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PostPosted: 11/16/18 4:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I've always been a fan of Becky, but I don't see why she should be expected to be a HC yet. She's been with the Spurs since 2014 as an assistant. Lots of coaches were assistants for much longer than that. Coach Bud of the Hawks was an assistant for 17 years, for example. Dwane Casey was an assistant for 9 years before becoming a head coach and after a few years had to go back to being an assistant, before landing another HC job 3 seasons later. Lloyd Pierce was an assistant for 11 years before getting a HC job with the Hawks. I hope she gets her chance but getting it before she's paid her dues might hurt her chances. The Spurs probably would be her best bet.


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PostPosted: 11/16/18 4:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Why isn’t Sue Bird in the Denver Nuggets’ front office?

Oh yeah, I guess she is....

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