SAN ANTONIO — With no fanfare nor a big sendoff, Becky Hammon has left the San Antonio Spurs to begin her head coaching job with the WNBA Las Vegas Aces.
Ahead of the team's Play-In game against the Pelicans, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich announced that the former assistant coach has left the Spurs to start her job with the Aces.
Popovich said Hammon had to go with the Aces' 2022 season closing in with training camp and free agency on deck.
He went on to say her exit is a huge loss for the team and her mind for the game will be missed.
“We’re very excited to have Becky return to the Aces’ franchise as our head coach,” Aces President Nikki Fargas said in a news release. “Her success in the sport of basketball as both a player and a coach is unparalleled, and fueled by a tenacious desire to be the best she can possibly be. We have one of the most talented rosters in the WNBA, and Becky is the absolute best person to lead this team.”
Popovich did wish her the best and continued to complement her as a respected colleague.
Hammon replaces Bill Laimbeer, who coached the Aces for the team’s first four years in Las Vegas. He led the Aces to three WNBA Semifinals appearances and the 2020 WNBA Finals.
She played 16 seasons in the WNBA, including her final eight in San Antonio, where she led the franchise to its first WNBA Finals appearance.
On August 5, 2014, Popovich hired her as a full-time assistant making her the first woman in league history to occupy that position.
On Dec. 30, 2020, following Popovich’s ejection in San Antonio’s game against Los Angeles, Hammon took over on the bench, becoming the first woman acting head coach in the history of the NBA.
“Becky has become an integral part of our program in every way, shape and form,” Popovich said. “This is a great opportunity for her to highlight her many skills. Her intuitive feel for the game and ability to teach will serve the Aces very well as she institutes her system and culture.”
Hammon will not only be missed within the Spurs organization and the NBA, but will also be missed in the San Antonio community.