Liberty eyeing Spurs assistant Becky Hammon for head coach job

Becky Hammon Liberty
Becky Hammon
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Liberty has a coaching vacancy and its sights are set on one of basketball’s hottest names. 

New York’s WNBA franchise is looking to hire San Antonio Spurs assistant and former Liberty point guard Becky Hammon, according to a report from The Athletic. The Liberty head coaching job opened up earlier this month after Walt Hopkins and the team parted ways. 

The Las Vegas Aces are also looking to hire Hammon as well, The Athletic reported. If Hammon does decide to take either the New York or Vegas job, her decision will come before the WNBA’s free agency period opens in July. 

The six-time WNBA All-Star and two-time All-WNBA first-team member had been asked about her interest in the Liberty coaching job during an interview with LaChina Robinson a little over two weeks ago. Hammon told Robinson “absolutely” when asked if she took notice of the vacancy. 

“My doors are open,” Hammon said during the Dec.15 interview. “I’ve never closed the door on coming back to the women either. To me, how could I? That’s my heart. That’s my roots and so I never closed the door on any opportunity. If I went back to the WNBA, don’t blink cause I don’t look at it as a step back. No, it’s not. It’s a change of direction. It’s a pivot, but it’s basketball. 

“I’m telling you it’s the same stuff. The basketball is pretty much the same, except for dunks, it’s very similar. It’s basketball. … Don’t be surprised. I keep my doors open.”

Hammon has been an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff since 2014 and has constantly been viewed as a candidate to become the first female coach in the NBA. She was a finalist for the Portland Trail Blazers job last season, which went to Chauncey Billups, and also interviewed for the Orlando Magic’s coaching vacancy. 

Hammon served as acting head coach for the Spurs last year on Dec. 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers after Popovich was ejected from the game. 

Hammon played 16 seasons in the WNBA from 1999-2014. She spent the first eight years of her career as a member of the Liberty before playing her final eight years with the San Antonio Stars.