Becky Hammon Became The First Woman To Serve As An NBA Head Coach After Gregg Popovich’s Ejection

There wasn’t anything particularly momentous about the Spurs’ Wednesday night game against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. San Antonio has found themselves this season in a sort of limbo, maybe not quite bad enough to head into a full rebuild but not exactly in a position to contend, especially in the loaded West.

Still, the Spurs will always play hard. They had gotten off to a solid 2-1 start to the season, and Gregg Popovich is just as likely to blow a gasket in a mid-week game in late December as he is in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. So it wasn’t totally a surprise when Pop got himself tossed midway through the second quarter for vehemently arguing a no-call after DeMar DeRozan appeared to get fouled as he went up for a lay-in.

But what makes the situation historic is what happened immediately after, when Pop signaled to assistant Becky Hammon to take the helm for the remainder of the contest, making her the first woman in NBA history to act as head coach.

This isn’t the first time Hammon and the Spurs have made history in breaking down gender barriers. A couple of years ago, the organization made Hammon the league’s very first woman to hold a full-time assistant coaching position, and many believe Hammon will one day become the first woman to head coach in the NBA on a full-time basis.

Asked about the momentous occasion after the game, Hammon acknowledged the gravity of the situation but said there was very little ceremony to how it went down, in typical Pop fashion.

Hammon also earned some well-deserved praise from LeBron James.

In addition, the loss will apparently be credited to Pop, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times, leaving her record as head coach technically unblemished.