Becky Hammon is headed back to the WNBA.
The San Antonio Spurs assistant is apparently set to become the next head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Chantel Jennings.
“I am so excited to return to the WNBA and grateful for Mark Davis and Nikki Fargas having a vision for me to lead the Aces,” said Hammon. “This is where I come from, and I wouldn’t be me without the W. I’m thrilled to be able to give back and lead this next group of women.”
Hammon, who has long been considered a frontrunner to become a head coach in the NBA, will replace Bill Laimbeer in Las Vegas. She is expected to sign a five-year deal that will make her the highest-paid coach in the WNBA, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. She will finish out the rest of the NBA season with the Spurs.
San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is finalizing a five-year deal with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces that’ll make her the league’s highest paid coach, sources tell ESPN. Hammon plans to finish season with San Antonio.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 31, 2021
Hammon spent 16 seasons playing in the WNBA from 1999-2014, first with the New York Liberty and then with the San Antonio Stars — which later became the Aces. The six-time All-Star averaged 13 points and 3.8 assists throughout her career, and had her jersey retired both in San Antonio and in Las Vegas.
The South Dakota native joined the Spurs as an assistant under Gregg Popovich after retiring, which made her the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA. She has served as the team’s interim coach in Popovich’s absence on occasion, which made NBA history yet again.
Hammon has frequently been considered a frontrunner to become a head coach in NBA, and has interviewed for head jobs with the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers in recent years.
The Aces went 24-8 last season under Laimbeer, who was in his fourth season with the franchise, but lost in the semifinal round of the playoffs after reaching the Finals in 2020. It’s unclear what Laimbeer will do next, as the Aces job wasn’t considered to be open, but he will reportedly consider taking a front office or advisory role with the organization.