When Becky Hammon took over the head coaching reins for the Spurs on Wednesday night following Gregg Popovich‘s ejection, she was focused on trying to “win the game” rather than the historical significance of the moment, as Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes. However, after the game, she was able to appreciate the fact that she had become the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA game.
“Obviously, it’s a big deal,” Hammon said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It’s a substantial moment. I’ve been a part of this organization, I got traded here (as a WNBA player) in 2007, so I’ve been in San Antonio and part of the Spurs and sports organization with the Stars and everything for 13 years. So I have a lot of time invested, and they have a lot of time invested in me, in building me and getting me better.”
The Spurs weren’t able to come back and knock off the defending champion Lakers in Hammon’s unexpected head coaching debut, but San Antonio players were happy to see her get a chance to run the show in Popovich’s absence.
“Any player who knows the history of women’s basketball knows what she meant to the sport,” Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. “You don’t think twice about it. She’s one of us. When she speaks, we are all ears.”
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- One of Josh Richardson‘s agents, Bill Duffy, tells Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News that his client’s fit in Philadelphia last season was “awkward” and that he and fellow agent Erik Kabe asked the Sixers about exploring trade options this offseason. “Josh has an opt-out after this year,” Duffy said. “So Erik and I were pretty candid with Philly that it was pretty unlikely he’d return, ‘so maybe you should have discussions.'” The Mavericks were Richardson’s preferred landing spot, and Dallas and Philadelphia were able to work out a deal that Duffy views as a “win-win.”
- As they incorporate new additions Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe, the Pelicans are working on improving their chemistry – especially on offense – following a condensed offseason, writes Christian Clark of NOLA.com. “It’s different from every other year because of the time,” Adams said. “Still man, it’s not impossible. Chemistry is just a weird thing. You can’t really rush it.”
- Health issues continue to plague the Grizzlies, who saw Grayson Allen leave Wednesday’s game in the second quarter due to a left ankle sprain, writes Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. The club -which is already missing Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson, and Justise Winslow – will have to hope Allen’s sprain is a minor one.