A Case to Hire Becky Hammon

Sam Findley, Staff Writer

As the Pacers approach their decision on who will fill the open head coach position, I am here to make the case for hiring Becky Hammon. If the Pacers were to hire Hammon, she would become the first woman head coach in NBA history. 

The first and most obvious reason to hire her is her vast experience. Hammon went undrafted in the WNBA. Despite this, she spent 17 years in the league and was named an All-Star six times. Hammon is only one of five players to ever be named an All-Star while going undrafted. 

  All of this player experience would be enough for some coaching jobs, such as the Brooklyn Nets head coaching position, which was filled by NBA Hall of Famer Steve Nash. If you look at her playing resume, she has just as much real game experience as any other male candidate. 

Although All Star games may not be a good metric to look for a player’s ability, Finals appearances are. . She led her team to the finals, averaging 13.8 points per game and 3.8 assists. Hammon also made the WNBA first team and second team, first and second team for the WNBA awards are given to the five best players and 6-10 best players in the league.Additionally, Hammon was the EuroLeague All-Star game Most Valuable Player. 

Not only has she had amazing experience as a player, she has also had terrific stints of coaching NBA basketball. She led the 2015 Spurs team to a Summer League championship. Although most would assume that Becky Hammon had some young studs to work with on the roster, she did not even have a lottery-draft pick on the team; her most talented player on the team was Kyle Anderson, who is only now considered a “good” NBA player. Most of that team is playing internationally or on minor league teams nowadays. In that season, her team was able to post a 4-1 record, and she showed her ability to coach winning men’s basketball.  

The summer League was not her only head coaching experience. Hammon coached one scrimmage game in the Orlando “bubble.” Although the team lost, she was significantly overmatched; she faced this year’s MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and All-Star Khris Middelton.  She was also missing LaMarcus Aldridge, starter and former All-Star, and Trey Lyles, a key role player.

Another major factor to a head coaching position is the way they fit with the team. I believe Becky Hammon is the perfect fit for the Pacers. After watching President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard’s press conference, you get the message that this team is looking for a modern program builder. 

It’s up to me to step up to the plate and find the right person to lead the locker room, be creative and find a new-age coach,” Pritchard said.

 When looking for a program builder, teams often look for younger head coaching candidates. Although 43 years old may  not seem young to most casual fans, she is actually younger than most head coaches, and she is significantly younger than the other leading candidate Mike D’antoni, who is 69.

Another benefit Hammon would provide to the team is being a players coach, an aspect of coaching that many players enjoy about a coach. Knowing the wear and tear on a player’s body and having those similar experiences is an important part of coaching. 

Although skeptics might be quick to judge a female head coach, I believe it is clear that she is the perfect person to lead this organization. She has the resume equal to, if not better, than any other candidate. Hammon will get a job with a NBA team; the Pacers just need to decide if it will be with Indiana, or somewhere else.