Becky Hammon is returning to the WNBA, this time as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces. The five-year deal will make her the highest-paid coach in the league.

The move comes as a surprise as Hammon was expected to be up for multiple head coaching vacancies in the NBA. She is currently in her eighth season under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs, which is where she became the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history. She was a finalist for the Portland Trailblazers‘ head coaching position last summer, but Chauncey Billups was hired instead.

Hammon was undrafted out of Colorado State in 1999, but soon made a name for herself as a member of the New York Liberty from 1999 to 2006. She then spent eight more seasons with the San Antonio Silver Stars. Hammon will now return to the organization. The Silver Stars moved to Vegas in 2018. During her 16 seasons, she was a six-time WNBA All-Star and helped lead her teams to four WNBA Finals appearances.

When Hammon takes over, likely in April as she will finish out her season with the Spurs, she inherits one of the most talented rosters in the league. 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson is one of the best young players in the league at 25. Dearica Hamby and Kelsey Plum are both winners of the Sixth Player of the Year, awarded to the best player coming off the bench and former No. 1 pick, Jackie Young is also on the roster. Last season, the team finished first in the west but lost in the Conference Finals to the Phoenix Mercury. While the team has done well, they’ve struggled to score when it mattered most.


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