Could Becky Hammon Make History with Milwaukee Bucks?

becky hammon

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 12:07 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 8, 2018 12:07 PM UTC

The Milwaukee Bucks were a playoff team this past season but are looking for a new head coach. Could they make NBA history by hiring Becky Hammon?

Of all the NBA head coaching jobs open at this moment, the Milwaukee Bucks’ job probably is the most attractive. That’s because the Bucks have a true superstar, which few teams do in the league, in Giannis Antetokounmpo. In addition, the club is moving into a beautiful new arena next season. Although one drawback is that ownership is set to change next year as Wes Edens will turn control over to Marc Lasry. It’s part of some pre-arranged ownership agreement where the board of governors of the team rotates who the primary owner is. Rather weird. Coaches obviously like to know who their owner is going to be.

But I digress. Bovada offers an interesting prop on the Bucks’ job: Will the team hire Becky Hammon as its head coach? No is a -500 favorite and yes +300. It would be an upset were it to happen, no disrespect to Hammon. Is a team ready to have a female head coach? Just recently, we saw the Phoenix Suns hire Utah assistant Igor Kokoskov as the top guy, making him the first full-time coach hired in the NBA born outside North America.

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Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon was the first woman to be interviewed for an NBA head coaching position. Is the NBA ready for such a big shift?

Tweet #FirstFemaleCoachNBA or #NBANotReady to vote!
OR Vote here 👉 https://t.co/KQNaXfCYtW pic.twitter.com/Ge7BhfMuzc

— The Tylt (@TheTylt) May 7, 2018
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The 41-year-old Hammon seems a decent bet to get a head coaching job eventually. She was a terrific player for 16 years in the WNBA, named an All-Star six times, and played for Russia (she became a naturalized citizen there in 2008) in the Olympics in 2008 & ’12. In 2014, Hammon was hired by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, making history as the first full-time female assistant in any of the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Teams hiring Popovich assistants around the league has become rather common. Fellow assistants Ettore Messina, James Borrego and Ime Udoka all have gotten interviews (or will) this offseason; Borrego has gotten the Charlotte job. Houston’s Mike D’Antoni and Philadelphia’s Brett Brown are both former Popovich assistants.

That’s what could be working against Hammon: She has the shortest tenure of any Spurs assistant. Then again, Hammon already has won a championship. She led the Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League title in 2015. It frankly shouldn’t matter that Hammon never played in the NBA as many coaches didn’t. Popovich, for one. Boston’s Brad Stevens for another.

The likely favorite for the Bucks job is former Hawks coach and Popovich assistant Mike Budenholzer, who has an NBA Coach of the Year honor on his resume with Atlanta. Other names the Bucks reportedly will interview or already have are Budenholzer, Messina, Borrego, former Hornets coach Steve Clifford, ex-Pelicans coach Monty Williams, former Cavs coach David Blatt and even this past season’s interim Bucks coach Joe Prunty. There may be a few more.

This is terrific progress that Hammon is even making history by getting an interview, but it’s not her time yet.

Free NBA Pick: NoBest Line Offered: Bovada
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