Pau Gasol penned an open letter on The Players Tribune where he voiced his opinion that an NBA team should hire Becky Hammon as a head coach.
Hammon, 41, led the San Antonio Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League title in 2015 and has served as one of Gregg Popovich's closest assistants since 2014. She made history as the first female full-time assistant in the NBA. Hammon is considered a strong candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks' head coaching job.
"If you’re making that argument to anyone who’s actually played any high-level basketball, you’re going to seem really ignorant," Gasol wrote. "But I also have a simple response to it — which is that I’ve been in the NBA for 17 years. I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. 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."
Gasol added that the Spurs did not hire Hammon as a publicity stunt. He notes that Popovich is particular about the way he develops his players and coaches.
Former Cleveland Cavaluers coach David Blatt is also a candidate for the the Bucks job. Milwaukee is seeking a full-time replacement to Jason Kidd after Joe Prunty served as interim head coach for the final 37 games of the season.