Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon reiterated her commitment to the reigning WNBA champs, adding that she’s “not going to beg for a job anymore” amid reports linking her to the Toronto Raptors’ head coaching vacancy.
“I love being here,” Hammon told TIME’s Sean Gregory. “I love being back on the women’s side. I don’t need the stamp of approval from the NBA.
“You’re going to have to come after me,” Hammon continued.
The Raptors reportedly received permission in April to interview the 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year for their vacant coaching position following Nick Nurse’s dismissal.
Hammon previously interviewed for other head coaching opportunities. However, she said executives asked her during interviews whether NBA players would follow her as a woman and how she would conduct herself in a men’s locker room.
The 46-year-old added that she believes executives “discount” her tenure in the WNBA as a former player compared to other first-time head coaches who played professionally.
“If I had a 16-year NBA career and my name was Brian, I’d probably be hired and fired a couple of times by now,” Hammon said.
Prior to her coaching career, Hammon spent 16 years playing in the WNBA, earning six All-Star nods and two All-WNBA first-time selections.
Hammon led the Aces to their first WNBA championship in franchise history in 2022, her first season with the team after spending eight years as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.
She became the first woman to serve as a head coach for an NBA team in a regular-season game after Popovich was ejected from a contest versus the Los Angeles Clippers in 2020.
“It’s difficult for anybody to get a job in the NBA,” Hammon said.
“You’ve got to get to the point where you’re like, ‘I don’t give a f–k what you think.’ I know what I know. And I know who I am. And you just keep it pushing.”
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