Spurs' Becky Hammon becomes first woman to act as head coach in NBA game
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Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, made history on Wednesday night when she became the first woman to act as head coach during a regular-season NBA game.

Hammon filled in for head coach Greg Popovich after he was ejected during the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, ESPN reported.


"Obviously, it's a big deal," Hammon said after the game. "It's a substantial moment. I've been a part of this organization — I got traded here in 2007, so I've been in San Antonio and part of the Spurs and sports organization with the Stars and everything for 13 years. So I have a lot of time invested, and they have a lot of time invested in me, in building me and getting me better."


Popovich had received a technical foul and was ejected with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter after arguing with a referee over a no-call.

The head coach quickly passed along his duties to Hammon as he headed to the locker room.

"He officially pointed at me. That was it. ... That was it," Hammon said. "Said, 'You got 'em,' and that was it. Very Pop-like."

The Spurs ultimately lost to the Lakers, 121-107, and Hammon admitted to being a bit disappointed.

"I would have loved to have walked out of there with the win with the guys," she said.

However, the assistant coach was met with immense praise from her players after the game.

"Becky played, and any player who knows the history of women's basketball knows what she meant to the sport," Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan said. "You don't think twice about it. She's one of us. When she speaks, we are all ears."

Lakers star LeBron James described Wednesday’s game as “a case where she got to step in and show her work, show her talents and her love for the game, and obviously, what she did as a player, first of all, we all know that.”

"It's a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets, and she's very passionate about the game, so congrats to her and congrats to the league,” James added.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel predicted that Hammon will be a head coach in the league one day.

"I've talked to her a bunch in coaches conferences and whatnot, and she really knows her stuff," Vogel said. "Obviously, she's here for a reason. She's equipped. She's intelligent. The guys have a great respect for her.”

Hammon, 43, is in her seventh season on the Spurs' coaching staff, according to ESPN. She was a six-time All-Star in the WNBA with the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars.