2. Becky Hammon (Assistant Coach)
If the Rockets really want to shake things up, another solid option would be former WNBA star Becky Hammon. Playing for the New York Liberty and San Antonio Stars for 16 years, Hammon displayed a high basketball IQ on the court, and that’s translated to the sidelines.
Hammon began spending time with the Spurs in an unofficial role in 2013 while rehabbing from a torn ACL. San Antonio made it to the NBA Finals that season, as well as in 2014. Wisely, the Spurs hired her as an assistant coach in August 2014, where she’s remained for the last six years.
Becky is also receiving attention from the Indiana Pacers and other teams with vacant coaching spots, for a good reason.
“I’m telling you. Becky Hammon can coach,” Pau Gasol said in a 2018 The Players Tribune article. “I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.”
Hammon has shown an exceptional eye for detail with the Spurs and has been vital as Popovich’s lead assistant. Plus, she knows how to challenge calls successfully.
Becky Hammon convinced Pop to challenge Jimmy Butler’s and-1 continuation.
The Spurs won the challenge and the game. ? pic.twitter.com/YxqQbP4vzY
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 20, 2020
Under the guidance of one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, Hammon could bring a wealth of winning experience and coaching X’s and O’s that would be the closest thing to having Popovich himself. But speaking of Coach Pop:
Next: Candidate #3