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Becky Hammon becomes first woman to coach NBA team

Hammon's Spurs fell to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night

Updated: December 31, 2020 - 9:35am

Following San Antonio Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich's ejection during the second quarter of Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Becky Hammon became the first woman to coach an NBA team, albeit to a loss. 

The Spurs lost to the Lakers in a 121-107 at the AT&T Center. Following Popovich's ejection, Hammon, who was the first full-team female assistant coach in the history of the NBA, took over team huddles. 

"(I was) trying to get the guys in the right spots, trying to get them motivated. Obviously, it’s a learning situation for all of us, but I would have loved to have walked out there with a win with the guys," Hammon said. 

Hammon was a three-time All-American player at Colorado State University before playing in the WNBA for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars. She joined Popovitch's staff in 2014.

The Lakers' LeBron James, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Wednesday, commended Hammon for her historic night. 

"Obviously she’s been paying her dues over the last few years and Coach Pop has given her the opportunity. It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets. She’s very passionate about the game. Congrats to her and congrats for our league," he said.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel concurred with James.

"I’ve talked to her before and she really knows her stuff and obviously she’s here for a reason," he said. "She’s equipped, intelligent (and the) guys have great respect for her. She’s going to be a great coach one day."

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