There is no better managed sports organization than the San Antonio Spurs. While many owners and front offices give a lot of lip service about what’s important to them and catering to fans, the Spurs are one of few teams across the major 4 that do it quietly and consistently.
Adding Becky Hammon, as the first professional female coach in the NBA, was just the first step in the dawn of a new period for this small market giant.
Hammon was selected to coach the Spurs summer league team. The roster included last year’s first round pick, Kyle Anderson as well as VCU’s Treveon Graham and an assortment of undrafted players. Hammon led these players to a 6-1 finish and they were crowned Summer League champions, beating the Suns; a team who had 5 players averaging in double figures scoring over the course of the tournament.
Without beating their chests, the Spurs are assimilating Becky Hammon into the leadership fold. She’s not just there as a symbol of Title IX. More than a dozen times, she was in the huddle drawing up plays for the big 3 this past season. Players trust her. They appreciate the knowledge and presence she brings to the game as a player-coach. Jonathan Simmons, the Summer League MVP, praised Hammon’s coaching
“I already love her, and I’ve barely [known] her a couple of days. She’s a real cool coach.”
While there was a lot of movement in free agency, the Spurs landed the prized front court man, LaMarcus Aldridge. They also re-up’d Tim Duncan, Danny Green, and the future face of the franchise, Kawhi Leonard. Although, they lost Marco Bellineli, and Cory Joseph to free agency offers, the Spurs’ summer league roster boasted some good value to bring in for training camp this fall.
In what might really be Duncan’s last season, the Spurs have already set in motion a plan for continuity. With Hammon proving herself more than capable, that now includes the coaching side.