LAS VEGAS (AP) — Becky Hammon can’t wait for the time when it’s normal for women to interview for head coaching positions in the NBA and their gender isn’t the story.
“It’s huge and important. It’s something that can’t be (checking) the box,” the Spurs assistant told The Associated Press. “You have to hire the best person. Half the world’s population hasn’t been tapped for their mind and ability and skill sets in the sports world. It’s something that needs to change.”
Hammon is entering her eighth season as an assistant and has been interviewed for several head coach openings but hasn’t gotten an offer to be the first woman to lead a NBA team.
“There’s 30 jobs and they are incredibly hard to get,” Hammon said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “When I saw 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.”
While Hammon would love to be the first, she hopes it’s for the right reasons.
“Please don’t hire me to check a box. That’s the worst thing you can do for me,” she said. “Hire me because of my skill sets and coaching, who am I as a person, hire me for those.”
Hammon was a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers job, which went to Chauncey Billups.
“I can’t speak for organizations across the league and the whole sports world. I can tell you they were asking me legitimate coaching questions,” the 44-year-old said. “When you get to this level, you’ve got to hire the best person for the job and the person who fits your organization the best.”