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Becky Hammon Explains Why She Left the NBA for the WNBA

On Monday, the Aces introduced Becky Hammon as the team's newest coach after reportedly making the Spurs assistant the highest-paid coach in the WNBA.

After interviewing with several NBA teams for head-coaching jobs, Hammon said it was the approach of owner Mark Davis and team president Nikki Fargas that sealed her decision, despite originally not having any intentions to leave the NBA.

"I sat in head coaching interviews [in the NBA] and people said two things: You've only been in San Antonio and you've never been a head coach,'" Hammon said. "Well I can tell you right now Mark Davis met me, Nikki [Fargas] met me and said 'That's a head coach right now.'"

Hammon, who said she will pull double duty finishing off the season with the Spurs before fully joining the Aces, has been an assistant on Gregg Popovich's staff since 2014.

The 44-year-old coach said she feels she has a lot to give back to the league after a 16-year playing career, where she was a six-time WNBA All-Star, with the Liberty and Stars. 

"I couldn't be prouder than to come back to the W," Hammon said. "It's where I'm from. We're not even having this conversation if it wasn't for the WNBA, so I couldn't be happier to come back and give back."

Hammon replaces Bill Laimbeer, who put together a 77–45 record with the team through four seasons, which included a trip to the 2020 finals.  

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