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Becky Hammon: Hire me for coaching ability, not to check a box

Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 30: Becky Hammon assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs takes over head coach after Gregg Popovich head coach was ejected at AT&T Center on December 30, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

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Some people within the NBA want to see a female head coach. Those desires have gotten projected mostly onto Spurs assistant Becky Hammon, a pioneer in the profession.

Is she ready to be an NBA head coach? Maybe, maybe not.

But she has a message to teams considering her.

Hammon, via Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press:

“Please don’t hire me to check a box. That’s the worst thing you can do for me,” she said. “Hire me because of my skill sets and coaching, who am I as a person, hire me for those.”

A corollary message: Don’t refuse to hire Hammon because of her sex. Consider her skill sets and coaching, who she is as a person.

If everyone confronted their biases and truly tried to fairly consider candidates on the merits, more women would be NBA coaches. That approach would lift deserving candidates of all identities, naturally producing more diversity.

It’d also be the right way to treat people, the way Hammon wants to be treated.