The New York Liberty are searching for a new head coach in 2020 could former player Becky Hammon be the choice?
The last few seasons have been rough for the New York Liberty as they’ve struggled to win games and contend in the league. The Liberty parted ways with head coach Katie Smith in hopes of righting the ship before the team moves officially to their new home at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
A name that may be on the Liberty’s shortlist of coaching candidates is the very popular Becky Hammon. Hammon currently serves as one of the top assistants under Greg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA. She has warranted plenty of respect in the league and has been considered for the vacant head coaching jobs with the possibility of becoming the first female head coach in the league.
Hammon played for the Liberty from 1999-2006 and ranks high in franchise history for a variety of categories, including games played, 3-pointers made, and the career scoring list. She was a key member of Liberty teams that reached the WNBA Finals three times during her tenure. The accolades earned the South Dakota native a place in the franchise’s ring of honor back in 2015.
Hammon spoke about her time in New York as a player during her induction ceremony four years ago.
"“My experience as a basketball player in New York and in San Antonio really gave me a platform to hone my skills as a player to sharpen my mind,” Hammon said. “Without the WNBA and even stepping foot in the Garden in ’99, we would not be sitting here. So I am very grateful for my experiences.”"
"“The fans have always embraced me, even when I was the last person on the bench,” she said. “I had to fight and scrap for every little bit of playing time that I got and I would not do it any other way. I like being able to say that I worked for my career and worked for my success. Nobody handed me anything.”"
Hammon may consider the Liberty job, but it will be tough to tear her apart from the NBA coaching ranks. The lure of making even more history will be the deciding factor that might hurt the Liberty’s chances of bringing Hammon back home.