Since the lights of the NBA do not wish to turn to her, it is in WNBA that her legend will continue. As we anticipated a few days ago, it didn’t drag on, Becky hammon will be named head coach of the Las Vegas Aces and will replace Bill laimbeer on the Sin City bench.
According to the geniuses who populate social networks, the WNBA does not interest anyone. This must be why Shams Charania (The Athletic) and Adrian Wojnarowski (ESPN), the two biggest news world sport, fought one of their traditional battles tonight to break the news and coat it with exclusive details to sweep aside the deserved quest for visibility of their WNBA counterparts. This arrival of Becky Hammon in Vegas is important in many ways in the landscape of American basketball and the popes of the US scoop have understood it.
The former San Antonio and New York point guard will sign for 5 years and on a financial deal that will make her the highest paid coach in WNBA. By succeeding in convincing Becky Hammon by putting on the table the financial and sporting means to attract her, Mark Davis, the new owner of the Aces, shows that he is not there to make up the figure. The words about the desire to grow the “women’s game” and make the league prosper to the height of its merit were perhaps not just the words of a politician. Hopefully these efforts and good intentions become the norm.
Bringing in referenced coaches, coveted in the NBA or quite simply very well known to the general public is one of the important advances for a league which should no longer present itself as a consolation prize. The WNBA must become a respectable and respected path. If the franchise bosses put the number of zeros on the check to the word, it will only be positive and the fame of the best women’s championship in the world will finally rise to the height of our expectations.
In Vegas she was the first and only choice
Becky Hammon could have continued to wait her turn at one of the 30 NBA franchises or prayed that the Spurs decided to hand her the keys to the store after Gregg Popovich – it was no longer on the agenda at all. – but having a tempo dictated and patience imposed was already unnatural for her when you know what player she was and what woman she is. In Las Vegas, she knows she’s the first and only choice. No other coach has been auditioned and the mere fact that management offers him a position previously held by a sacred monster of WNBA coaching is a strong signal. The 5-year contract to drive an already very solid squad, with the probability of seeing ambitious players who want to work with them arriving, is another.
We don’t yet know what the decision-making chain will look like in the Aces in 2022, but we imagine that “Big Shot Becky” has obtained the guarantee of having a large margin of maneuver. Dan Padover, the double holder of the title of General Manager of the year, left to try to make Atlanta grow and, to this hour, no one has recovered his job. Laimbeer, who intended to wear this hat, seems to prefer to operate from afar, without day-to-day responsibilities, and will a priori be appointed to a consultant role. Among the sites to be managed quickly, there are obviously the end of contracts of Liz Cambage, Angel McCoughtry and Riquna Williams (A’ja Wilson is restricted free agent but, except for the earthquake, will go nowhere).
Becky Hammon’s first press conference is eagerly awaited. We know very well what she will say there. That she doesn’t come back to WNBA out of spite. That she loves this league that she helped popularize. And above all that she is there to win and not to just show the NBA what she has been missing, even if she will think so very strongly. We know it, but we still really want to hear it.
We also can’t wait to see the first reunion between Becky Hammon and Vickie Johnson, the coach of the Dallas Wings. The two friends formed the backcourt of New York Liberty and made the heyday of the franchise and the league in the early 2000s.
In short, you have probably already understood with Steph’s article the other day, but we are just happy to know that the one we adored as a player and in whom we believe a lot as a coach, is back in WNBA. No regrets, no disappointment. If the NBA and the interpersonal skills cultivated by its franchises were not ready for her or for another woman, too bad for them, so much the better for us!