OT: San Antonio Hires Russian As Assistant Coach

Submitted by FreddieMercuryHayes on August 5th, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Yes, the San Antonio Spurs have done a most un-Texas thing in hiring Russian Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.  The fact that she is most likely a dirty communist, which I can only assume is true based on her citizenship, is probably the most imporant and significant part of this story.  Probably.




August 5th, 2014 at 1:29 PM ^

IIRC, Hammon felt she should have been picked for the Olympics and loopholed the 'Russian" citizenship so she could play.  It's sorta sour grapes to refer to her as  "Russian" when she is from SDak.  

Mr. Yost

August 5th, 2014 at 8:59 PM ^

It IS sour grapes...and the title, while it may be witty/funny, completely takes away from what is actually a pretty nice story.

As for her playing for Russia. So what? She didn't make the U.S. team and found a way to play in the Olympics. Why is that so bad? NBA guys do it.

If Jordan Morgan is playing for Italy in the 2020 Olympics because he doesn't have a shot in hell of making the U.S. squad, is that really THAT bad? Does that mean he doesn't love America?

No. He's just not good enough just like Hammond wasn't.


August 5th, 2014 at 1:37 PM ^

I suppose you're being sarcastic, but the bigger story is that she is a woman, I believe only the second one to be hired as an NBA coach. 

Hardware Sushi

August 5th, 2014 at 7:12 PM ^

Objectification of women can also count but I've never understood why commenting on her appearance falls into misogyny when we have significantly more "OMGSHIRTLESS" and prison abs comments by men about men on this blog.

People will always comment on the way other people look. I don't get why some consider it misogyny when there's no context outside of pure observation.


August 5th, 2014 at 2:02 PM ^

I swear. However, this will never work. I really doubt that NBA players are going to give the same respect to a, uhm, Russian coach that they would a, er, uh, American coach... 

Here's hoping that I'm wrong. 



August 5th, 2014 at 2:03 PM ^

One of the things that I've always admired about the Spurs' organization is that they are not afraid to do these sorts of things and are very open to finding good players and personnel in corners of basketball that other teams won't even touch typically. The great thing is that the Spurs' find exactly what they wanted more often than not, and bringing in a player with a nice resume like Hammon's definitely doesn't hurt in the least. This is a team that is very much about keeping the goal in mind and they look good doing it too, which is a bonus. 

Here's Gregg Popovich working with Hammon earlier in the year:


August 5th, 2014 at 8:14 PM ^

but I've been wishing there was a way to get something Tampa Bay + Yzerman; it just doesn't seem like it would work for a coach/front office type, though.

About the story in general, there was a great article with a former Maple Leafs GM around the time of the Olympics, he was quite confident that most professional organizations had made a lot of the steps they needed to take to get women into positions like event promotions, ticket sales, arena management, ect. and that the next step would be scouting and coaching. I think it's great that such an established organization was the first to make this step but it does seem like this could signal the beginning of a new era for women on the "sports" side of big time sports.


August 7th, 2014 at 9:51 AM ^

Not at an exec level (Account Exec--promotional sales+on field promotions). This was in 1995. Granted, I wasn't "the talent" and times were different, but the higher ups treated me like shit. I got all the grunt work, and BS, while the guys entertained in the sky boxes. I lasted a LONG 5 months...
Cool in some ways-got to see Hideo Nomo in his first game in the US, and some other stuff, but I wasn't willing to tolerate shit. Big clash with my boss.
Anyhow-I think it's changing, but its friggin time.


August 5th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

If another team had done this, I'd roll my eyes and say, "yeah, nice publicity stunt."  Since this is the Spurs, I fully expect Coach Hammon to contribute to a successful season, and then go on to do great things. 


August 5th, 2014 at 7:56 PM ^

To anyone who thinks this "can't work," I think you're totally wrong.  A coach is a coach and a great coach is a great coach.  Nobody says anything about men coaching women and the reverse can certainly be done.  

There's a ton of great stuff on FIBA's YouTube account for basketball coaches - one is a half-hour session by the Australian Women's National team coach that is really interesting.  My point in posting it is that you can tell that Carrie Graf is an excellent coach, it doesn't matter that she's a woman.



August 5th, 2014 at 9:56 PM ^

saw the ESPN bottom line "...Spurs hire first female coach..." and thought: "wait..what? MGoBlog had a different post today about a Russian."

/I get it now