Las Vegas Aces’ Becky Hammon named WNBA Coach of the Year
Part of the reason Becky Hammon left the bench in San Antonio next to Gregg Popovich to come to the WNBA was the chance to prove she could thrive as a head coach.
Looks like she was right so far.
On Friday, Hammon was named WNBA Coach of the Year for leading the Las Vegas Aces to the best record in the league this season and the No. 1 playoff seed.
After guiding the @LVAces to a 26-10 record and the No. 1 seed in her first season at the helm, @BeckyHammon is your 2022 #WNBA Coach of the Year 👏— WNBA (@WNBA) August 26, 2022
Hammon is the 1st former player to win COTY honors in her debut season and the 3rd former player to earn this award 🙌#MoreThan pic.twitter.com/l9Y6Bk3r77
Hammon received 27 votes from a pool of 56 national WNBA writers and broadcasters. Tanisha Wright of the Atlanta Dream finished in second place with 18 votes, James Wade of the Chicago Sky was third with eight votes, and Vickie Johnson of the Dallas Wings, Vanessa Nygaard of the Phoenix Mercury and Mike Thibault of the Washington Mystics each received one vote.
Hammon had the Aces’ offense clicking from Day 1 — they broke the WNBA record for most points by a team in a season opener in their 106-88 victory over the Mercury. The Aces averaged a WNBA-high 90.4 points per game this season. The challenge was getting consistent buy-in and effort on the defensive end, but as the season wore on and it got to big games — such as the Commissioner’s Cup Final against the defending champion Sky — the Aces’ defense showed up strong.
Hammon took over one of the more talented teams in the WNBA — MVP-level player A’ja Wilson plus All-Stars Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Dearica Hamby — but one that had not lived up to its potential under former coach Bill Laimbeer. That can be a tough spot to walk into as a coach.
But Hammon did and showed she was ready for the moment and the job.