Becky Hammon has made history again. The Portland Trail Blazers are on the hunt for a new head coach, and the San Antonio Spurs assistant is now a finalist for that position. That makes her the first woman in history to have become a finalist for a head coaching position. Will Hammon become head coach for the Trail Blazers? Let’s find out more about this development.
Becky Hammon and Chauncey Billups are Both Under Consideration to Become Head Coach for the Trail Blazers
ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski made the following tweet:
The text reads, “Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and Spurs assistant Becky Hammon are among candidates who’ll get second interviews for the Portland Trail Blazers head coaching job this week, sources tell ESPN.”
Hammon has been with the San Antonio Spurs for 7 years now, and previously played in the WNBA. In another historical first on December 30th, she stepped in for Gregg Popovich. This made her the first-ever woman to take over as acting head coach for an NBA team. There were rumors at the time that this was an indication that she is being considered for the role of head coach after Pop departs.
As for Billups, he is assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, prior to which he played in the NBA for 17 seasons. So, both candidates bring a wealth of experience. That being said, Billups has only been coaching since 2020, so Hammon has him beat in that department.
Which Candidate are the Trail Blazers Likely to Pick?
Jason Quick, Trail Blazers beat writer, says, “There are three things the Blazers are looking for in a new coach: improve the defense, develop schemes that can help alleviate the pressure Damian Lillard sees from opposing defenses, and nurture and develop the young talent like Nassir Little, Anfernee Simons and CJ Elleby.”
We also know that Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard has said already that Billups is someone he would like as the next head coach.
Either Billups or Hammon are eminently qualified, and either would make a great choice for the Trail Blazers. So, it is pretty hard to predict at this point which of them will make the final cut.
If Hammon does get the job, she will achieve another first by becoming the first female head coach in the NBA. That being said, if the Trail Blazers do not select her, there are other NBA teams that are currently recruiting for a head coach. These include the Wizards, Mavericks, Magic, Pacers, Celtics and Pelicans. It would not be a surprise if one or more of these teams show an interest in her as well.
Honestly, I would like to see Hammon stick around in San Antonio. It just makes sense to have her replace Pop when he retires. It is hard to imagine that will be all that far in the future at this point. And obviously, she is a great fit already with the Spurs. The transition would be minimal for everyone.
But Hammon deserves to take her career to the next level sooner than later. So, if the Trail Blazers do give her the job, we will wish her all the best, and continue to follow her career with excitement.