December 31, 2021
(Reuters) – Becky Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star, reportedly will become the league’s highest-paid coach.
Hammon will leave her job as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs to take over as the Las Vegas Aces’ head coach, The Athletic and ESPN reported Thursday night. Per both media outlets, her salary would be the highest in the WNBA.
Bill Laimbeer, the Aces’ head coach for the past four years, would leave his post to free up the job for Hammon, according to The Athletic.
ESPN reported that Hammon would remain with the Spurs through the current season.
Hammon, 44, was pursued by both the Aces and the New York Liberty, The Athletic reported. She spent the first half of her 16-year WNBA career with the Liberty before spending her final eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars — the franchise that moved to Las Vegas to become the Aces.
Hammon made history in 2014 when, shortly after her retirement as a player, she was hired by the San Antonio Spurs to be the first female full-time assistant coach in NBA history. She has since been interviewed for numerous head-coaching jobs in the NBA and was a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers’ job last summer. The Blazers ultimately hired Chauncey Billups.
“There’s 30 jobs, and they are incredibly hard to get,” Hammon told the Associated Press in August about getting an NBA head-coaching job. “When I say there are 30 jobs, not all 30 are available, so I’m really talking about three or four, and they are really hard to get.”
WNBA free agency begins Saturday. The Aces finished last season with the league’s second-best record in the regular season (24-8) before losing to the Phoenix Mercury in the semifinals.
–Field Level Media