‘Please Don’t Hire Me to Check a Box’

There is a widespread perception that the NBA is paying huge amounts of money in taxes on them. If you take a look at the numbers, you’ll see that has not always been the case.

My name is Charlie, and this is the story of the first job I’ve ever had at my first real job.

Today I had to check a box on a company performance review form. It’s not a difficult box to check, but it’s still a box, and I had to check it. So I decided to write an essay about checking that box.

The NBA has always been a male-dominated league, and that hasn’t changed much in its almost 80-year existence. For decades, every member of every rung, from the front offices to the coaches to the players, has been essentially the same gender.

However, one pioneer is on the scene to alter that.

Becky Hammon, who has spent the past seven years as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, wants to be the first female head coach in NBA history – and she’s going to get there. Hammon, on the other hand, isn’t going to take the first offer that comes her way. She advised NBA front offices in a recent interview that they should employ her because she is the best person for the position, not because it would be a positive PR move for the team.

Becky Hammon aspires to be the NBA’s first female head coach.

Becky Hammon doesn't want to be hired as a head coach for the wrong reasons.

Becky Hammon doesn't want to be hired as a head coach for the wrong reasons. Becky Hammon, an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, stands during the national anthem | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It’s not easy being a woman in a male-dominated sport. Ask any of the many women who have tried to get into the NBA as a coach, employee, advisor, or even referee during the past 75 years. Many people have failed throughout the years, but Hammon was not one of them.

In 2014, Hammon did something no other woman had ever done before: she became a full-time assistant coach for an NBA club. After her playing career ended, the former WNBA standout grabbed Gregg Popovich’s attention, and he took a risk on her by hiring her to his Spurs staff.

Following seven seasons with the Spurs, Hammon is attracting significant attention from clubs around the league to take over as head coach. She had offseason interviews with both the Orlando Magic and the Portland Trail Blazers, but she was ultimately passed up in favor of other prospects.

It’ll only be a matter of time until Hammon is in charge of her own squad.

Hammon will not be used as a pawn in someone else’s game.

Hammon’s ultimate ambition has always been to be the first woman to lead an NBA franchise, but she doesn’t view herself as a female assistant coach or a female head coach candidate. She just views herself as an experienced coach, a qualified candidate, and a recognized NBA colleague.

It’s fantastic if a team wants to employ her since she’s the best candidate for the position. However, if a club just wants to create headlines and generate good buzz with a historic hiring, Hammon will not agree.

“Please don’t employ me to do anything as simple as check a box. In a phone interview with Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press this week, Hammon stated, “That’s the worst thing you can do for me.” “Hire me for my skill sets and coaching, but also for who I am as a person. “Hire me to handle those.”

Hammon believes that one day, women in the NBA will be recognized for their accomplishments rather than their gender.

“It’s massive and significant. It’s not something that can be checked off a list,” she said. “You must hire the best candidate. In the sports world, half of the world’s population has not been tapped for their intellect, talent, and skill sets. It’s an issue that has to be addressed.”

Hammon may be the next head coach of your favorite NBA club in the near future.

Hammon believes it will be a question of when, not if, she becomes the head coach of an NBA club. When she was handed the reins of the Spurs in 2015, she guided the club to a Summer League championship. This summer, she made it to the final round of interviews for the Blazers position before Chauncey Billups was hired.

Her time will come. Just ask Pau Gasol, a potential Hall of Famer.

“I’ve had the privilege of playing for two of the greatest brains in sports history, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And believe me when I say this: Becky Hammon can coach,” Gasol said in an open letter to The Players’ Tribune in 2018. “I’m not suggesting she’s a great coach. I’m not suggesting she can coach well enough to make ends meet. I’m not claiming she can coach on par with the NBA’s men coaches.

“I believe Becky Hammon has the ability to coach NBA basketball. Period.”

She has the ability to do so, and she will.

RELATED: The Spurs’ Approach to NBA Free Agency Indicates They’re Finally Blowing It Up

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