Hammon spent 16 years in the WNBA — eight with the New York Liberty and eight with the San Antonio Stars — in addition to playing several seasons for teams in Spain and Russia. She also won a bronze medal playing for the Russian national team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Four of Popovich’s assistants – Hammon, James Borrego, Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka – have garnered interview requests for various head coaching openings. San Antonio has long been regarded as an incubator for coaching talent under Popovich, and all four are regarded as head coaching candidates.
Hammon, in particular, has drawn praise from Popovich for her work on multiple occasions.
“Becky can do anything she wants,” Popovich told the San Antonio Express-News this year, after Hammon’s name came up in relation to the head coaching job at her alma mater, Colorado State. “She’s earned the respect of everybody in our program, top to bottom.
“I really respect her knowledge and her way of doing things. So whatever she wants to do in her future, she’s a natural. She’s got it all.”
In a wide-ranging profile on Hammon in The New Yorker last month, Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James said he’d welcome the idea of playing for a woman.
“If she knows what she’s doing, we’ll love it,” he said. “I mean, listen, at the end of the day, basketball, it’s not about male or female. If you know the game, you know the game.”