Becky Hammon is in the news because she’s been hired by the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach, and people are wondering about her personal information.
Hammon’s salary has been above seven figures at times, such as when she played for CSKA Moscow, according to ESPN.
Hammon actually was upset that she didn’t appear to have a chance to represent the United States at the Olympics so she obtained Russian citizenship and played for Russia in 2008 and 2012.
Before she played in Russia, while still with the WNBA, she made approximately $95,000. The same ESPN story says that she signed a four-year deal in 2008 worth “well more than $2 million.” It’s unclear where the discrepancy comes in with the seven figures quoted earlier in the article.
As for her love life, Becky doesn’t seem to have a boyfriend, although gossip sports blog Terez Owens claimed a while back that she was dating Spurs guard Tony Parker.
“My sources are telling me Tony has been seeing Becky for a couple of weeks..They’ve hit it off and are trying to keep it quiet at this point,” the blog said.
“Becky is a serious hooper…Imagine if they had kids…definitely would end up being a point guard.”
Another blog, the evidently unreliable ans-wer.com, claims that Becky is single and not committed to anyone.
In any case, Hammon, who will retire from the WNBA after this season, is the first full-time, paid female assistant on an NBA coaching staff.
During the 2001-02 season, Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Lucas brought Lisa Boyer into the team’s practices and some games. Boyer, now an assistant at South Carolina, was not paid by the Cavaliers and did not travel with the team, but did work with the players and coaches that season.
Last season, Hammon attended Spurs practices, film sessions and sat behind the bench for the NBA champions at home game this season. She’s been friends with Spurs teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan since competing in an NBA All-Star shooting competition in 2008.
Connecticut Sun’s Kelly Faris and San Antonio Stars’ Becky Hammon chase after a loose ball during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday Aug. 1, 2014 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. (AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Edward A. Ornelas)
In this July 1, 2014 file photo, San Antonio Starsâ Becky Hammon, right, drives to the basket as Connecticut Sunâs Chiney Ogwumike, left, defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Popovich said. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”
It’s the latest trailblazing move for the Spurs, who hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina to join Popovich’s staff earlier this summer and have been the leaders in bringing international players to the NBA for almost two decades.
The Spurs are coming off of their fifth NBA title, a decisive victory over the Miami Heat in June. The organization’s stature as the league’s gold standard, along with Popovich and GM RC Buford being viewed as two of the very best in the business, led other women who have long dreamed of coaching in the NBA to hope that this is the first major step toward bringing more women into the league.
“I was so excited and pleased and the one thing that people have to remember is that the San Antonio Spurs don’t do anything for effect,” said Nancy Lieberman, a former star player who was a head coach in the NBA Development League in 2009 and now serves as the GM of the Texas Legends. “That’s not who they are. They don’t do this for the record-breaking barrier. They do things out of respect.
“And the fact that coach Popovich has this much respect for Becky’s basketball IQ, for how she handles herself with the guys in practice, her ability to relate to them, I’m sure he saw so much when she was working with them last fall. I’m sure he didn’t hire her because she was a woman. I’m sure he hired her because she was the best person for the job.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.