Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he’s ‘not here to make history’ after picking Tim Duncan over Becky Hammon as acting head coach
At the time, the Spurs appeared to take a “committee” approach to replacing Popovich. However, the veteran head coach revealed that Tim Duncan was truly the one in charge when he was neglected, bypassing a historic chance by allowing lead assistant Becky Hammon to take over (via Ryan Young of Yahoo! Sports):
Popovich was asked about the coaching dynamic after the game, and who was the head coach after he was ejected.
“Timmy was,” Popovich said plainly, via Fox Sports Southwest.
Did he consider letting Hammon take the spot to make history?
“I’m not here to make history,” Popovich said, via Fox Sports Southwest.
Had Popovich handed Hammon the reins, she would have become the first woman in the history of professional sports to take over as a head coach, if even just for a quarter of play.
Instead, Popovich declared that Duncan made the personnel decisions. Duncan joined Popovich’s staff this season after concluding a 19-year career as a player for the Spurs in 2016.
Still, the decision evokes a bit of confusion. Of course, Duncan and Pop have always had a tremendous relationship. However, Hammon coaches the Spurs’ Summer League squad and has accumulated tangible experience since the Spurs hired her in 2014.
The former WNBA legend is one of a select group of female assistant coaches in the league, and her promotion to the lead assistant spot has created speculation that she could be a leading candidate to replace Popovich whenever he decides to retire.