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Hammon Ready to Return to WNBA Coach: “Don’t Be Surprised”

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As Becky Hammon’s quest for her first full-time head coaching role continues, the San Antonio Spurs assistant says she won’t rule out a return to the WNBA, where she helped popularize the league as a six-time all-star over 16 seasons close .

“I never closed the door when I got back to women … How could I do that? This is my heart, these are my roots,” Hammon told Hudls LaChina Robinson. “So I don’t close the door on any occasion. If I go back to the WNBA, don’t blink because I don’t see it as a step backwards.”

The league currently has two coaching positions: The Phoenix Mercury, who just appeared in the final, and New York Liberty, with whom Hammon played from 1999-2006.

After a Liberty trade, Hammon played another eight campaigns with the San Antonio Stars (now Las Vegas Aces). Hammon was named one of the Top 25 Players in WNBA history in “The W25” last summer.

The 44-year-old’s position as a potential head coach increased significantly when she retired from the game and joined Gregg Popovich’s Spurs staff in 2014, becoming one of the legendary banker’s top lieutenants. Hammon became the first female incumbent head coach in NBA history when Popovich was excluded from a game last December.

The Portland Trail Blazers also reportedly listed Hammon as finalists for their summer coaching position, but instead hired former Star Guard Chauncey Billups.

While Hammon’s coaching story has been entirely on the men’s side, she doesn’t think she’d have trouble adjusting to the WNBA’s style of play.

“It’s a change of direction, it’s a fulcrum, but it’s basketball. I’m telling you it’s the same stuff,” she said.

“It’s pick and rolls, it’s defense. Basketball is pretty much the same except for dunks. Otherwise it is very similar. It’s basketball. The basket is 10 feet off the ground. There are five players on each team and we go out there and do it. Yeah, so don’t be surprised. “

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