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Bob's Blog: Historic Hiring in Hammon
Updated: Tuesday, August 5 2014, 10:59 PM CDT
Becky Hammon will not sit on the bench with the Spurs as an assistant coach - she'll sit right behind it. Where she belongs.Back in the summer of 2005 the Spurs signed another assistant coach - one of the few teams in the league to make this particular position a priority. Chip Engelland has since spent 10 years as a shooting coach for the Spurs - not sitting on the bench, but right behind it, helping players make in-game adjustments - and most notably on his arrival - helping Tony Parker's jumper get great.
Today - the Spurs signed another assistant coach - the only team in the history of the league to make "her" a particular priority.
Becky Hammon isn't getting a job as a PR move or ploy - pretty obvious the Spurs don't need that. The Spurs hired Hammon because of her basketball mind.
The NBA has stayed at the forefront of making women a priority in their league. Maybe part of it is because they play the exact same game at the same level, unlike football or baseball. But maybe it's also because they're just really good at what they do. That's not so hard to believe, is it?
The Pacers signed Ann Myers in 1979. A first. The league assigned Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner as referees in 1997. A first. The NBA's D-League Texas Legends hired Nancy Leiberman as head coach. A first. Heck - the NBA players association just hired an executive director in Michele Roberts. A first.
The league is ahead of the game - and the Spurs are ahead of the league.
The hiring of Becky Hammon is just more proof of that. Becky Hammon will not sit on the bench with the Spurs as an assistant coach - she'll sit right behind it. Where she belongs. Just ask Chip Engelland. He's been there for ten years - and it's a pretty incredible view.