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Becky Hammon on moving from NBA to WNBA: Las Vegas Aces saw me as ‘a head coach right now’

(CNN)Glass-ceiling breaker Becky Hammon has interviewed for aggregate NBA caput coaching positions. She’s acceptable for the accidental to beryllium a caput coach, but she hasn’t received an connection there.

Hammon — who was hired arsenic the archetypal full-time pistillate adjunct manager successful NBA past — present has that apical job, and it’s successful the WNBA to pb the Las Vegas Aces.

Hammon volition proceed to manager with the San Antonio Spurs done the remainder of the play earlier joining the Aces afloat time. She replaces Bill Laimbeer arsenic the team’s caput coach.

“This is simply a measurement forward,” Hammon said to reporters Monday connected making the determination from the NBA to the WNBA. “Being the caput manager of the Las Vegas Aces is simply a measurement guardant and a measurement successful the close absorption for myself, for women’s basketball, and I deliberation I can’t stress the value of this accidental that I have. I deliberation this is much advantageous for growth.

“There’s thing to being a caput coach. I’ve sat successful a batch of (NBA) caput coaching interviews, and 2 things radical ever said: ‘You’ve lone been successful San Antonio, and you’ve ne’er been a caput coach.’ I tin archer you close present (owner) Mark Davis met me, (team president) Nikki (Fargas) met maine and said, ‘That’s a caput manager close now.'”

When The Athletic primitively reported Hammon’s hiring, the outlet said that she volition beryllium the highest-paid WNBA caput coach.

“When you person an proprietor who wants to uplift this league by showing the value, whether it’s the worth of hiring idiosyncratic similar Becky, we’re recognizing talent, and we’re investing successful the talent,” Fargas said Monday. “Coaches request to beryllium paid, and they request to beryllium astatine that level wherever we consciousness is precise worthy of Becky’s contract.”

Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star successful her 16-year playing vocation archetypal with New York Liberty and past with the San Antonio Silver Stars, was the archetypal full-time pistillate adjunct manager successful NBA past erstwhile hired by the Spurs successful 2014. She antecedently has served arsenic the Spurs’ caput manager during Summer League, which is held during the offseason.

A twelvemonth ago, she became the first pistillate to nonstop an NBA squad arsenic a caput manager during the regular season, erstwhile she took implicit for San Antonio Spurs caput manager Gregg Popovich erstwhile helium was ejected during a game.

The Aces — who antecedently were the Silver Stars until the franchise moved to Las Vegas — retired Hammon’s jersey fig successful September.

Hammon said she initially had nary volition to permission the NBA astatine this point, but she said she came to the decision this was the champion determination for her.

“This was the champion spot for maine and my family, an accidental for maine to beryllium successful the large seat and beryllium a caput manager of a large nonrecreational sports league,” Hammon said. “I consciousness similar I’m acceptable to person my ain team, and this is the enactment that made it very, precise evident they wanted maine really, truly bad. It’s ever bully to beryllium wanted. It rapidly became evident to maine that Las Vegas was the spot for me.”

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