SAN ANTONIO — With no big send-off, Becky Hammon left the San Antonio Spurs to begin her head coaching job with the WNBA Las Vegas Aces once the Spurs' 2021-22 regular season was completed.
Ahead of the Spurs' Play-In game against the Pelicans, she quietly exited from her time with head coach Gregg Popovich announcing the former assistant coach began her job with the WNBA's Aces.
“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.”
And 10 games into her coaching job she is positioning the Aces as the best team in the WNBA (9-1 record) and getting recognized for her efforts being named the WNBA Coach of the Month for May.
However, she has not forgotten the lessons Popovich taught her about leading a team from the sidelines.
During an interview with "Sports Night 3 Las Vegas," she spoke about Popovich's influence on her.
"Not skipping steps is the most important, especially early on in training camp," Hammon said. "This is a whole new system for them. Offensively, defensively, the terminology is different."
Said Hammon: "The biggest point is to lay a great foundation of fundamentals and basics and you start with communication."
The former Spurs coach also added how much she learned to set expectations and hold her players accountable for their jobs just as Popovich does with the Spurs.
"Now I can hold them accountable and they can start to hold each other accountable because we are very clear on what we are doing out there both offensively and defensively," she added.
Now that she is into her next chapter in her basketball career, she did admit it was tough to leave the Spurs.
"I spent a lot of time there obviously," Hammon said. "I've gone to battle with him [Popovich]. Saying goodbye was obviously tough for not only myself but for Pop and the [Spurs] organization."
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Said Hammon: "Just really grateful for their leadership and their belief in me and really equipping me to being a successful coach in the future."
Hammon is off to a fantastic start as the new Las Vegas coach and has the team riding a 7-game including a 6-0 start at home.
And she continues to get support from the San Antonio community as fans are closely watching how she is doing with the Aces and cheering her on each step of the way.
Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5