Brad Stevens, former NBA coach of Boston Celtics fame, who was promoted to Boston’s new president of basketball operations, hasn’t picked finalists to replace his coaching position, but he has received a very large scale suggestion.
Six Star Pro Nutrition paid for a billboard to be placed near the team’s practice facility with a very clear message to hiring a woman to be the head coach. The sign stated, “Hey Brad, it’s time to shake it up. Hire Kara or Becky!”
Of course, the ad is referring to Kara Lawson and Becky Hammon. Lawson is the current head coach of the Duke women’s basketball team. In her lucrative playing career, Lawson played in the WNBA and was an Olympic Champion. She was named to her current coaching position in July 2020. Hammon is the current assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs and played in the WNBA as well.
Stevens has reportedly been searching for a replacement within and outside of the organization. Throughout all of the rumors of candidates Stevens has requested interviews with, neither Lawson nor Hammon was included. However, Stevens talked highly of each coach; he even stated in 2020 that Hammon would be great in a head coaching position.
Hammon already made waves in the NBA when she became the first woman to coach an NBA team on Dec. 20. The opportunity came to her late in the second quarter after San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from the game.
Becky Hammon’s credentials
Hammon is apparently highly in demand, with the Portland Trail Blazers considering her for a coaching position too. Hammond will also interview with the Orlando Magic for a head coaching job.
Dawn Staley is being interviewed by the Trail Blazers organization too. The Hall of Famer is confident that she could handle the role and expressed this to the New York Times.
“I surely can stand in front of men and lead them,” said Staley.
Staley and Hammon are the only two women in the running to replace Terry Stotts with the Trail Blazers. Like Hammon, Staley has an impressive resume as a 6-time All-Star with the WNBA, led the University of South Carolina to a 2017 national title, and was named Coach of the Year with the university in 2020.
If any of these women are selected for these coaching positions, they will make history; history that has been waiting to be made. However, they will face much adversity in the male-dominated league. Just as any woman who has made history as “the first,” there will be eyes watching and waiting for these coaches to make mistakes.
Staley touched on what could happen if a woman gets to coach an NBA team.
“A lot of people would be out there, just waiting for you to make a mistake, waiting for you to be wrong. . .” said Staley.
Despite the people who will be dissecting every move the first female NBA coach will make, whoever or whenever that will be, women are ready to handle the big court. Women have broken many barriers, but there has never been a woman to serve as a head coach in the NBA or for any men’s professional team, and it is time. As the billboard says, let’s shake it up.
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