The recent shake-up with the Celtics’ upper management has shocked the NBA world in recent days. Brad Stevens’ escalator ride to the Celtics front office as President of Basketball Operations has left the head coaching position vacant for possibly the first female coach in NBA history.
Brad Stevens praises Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and says he hopes to see the first female head coach in the NBA "very soon" pic.twitter.com/7zIEX2srVL
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 30, 2021
Becky Hammon and Kara Lawson are lighting up all of sports media as these seriously accomplished women are being considered for this highly coveted role. If the Celtics decide to go with Hammon, Lawson, or any other highly qualified female candidates, they could help usher in a whole new wave of female representation in the NBA.
Luck be a lady
NBC Sports Boston’s Brian Scalabrine weighed in on who fits the bill best and he had nothing but good things to say about Kara Lawson.
“It’s not one of those things where ‘she’s good for a female.’ No, she walked into practice and she commanded practice right from the jump,” Scalabrine said. “She was giving people tips and people’s jaws were dropping. She’s elite at what she does. … I thought she was head coaching material within five minutes talking with her,” per Yahoo Sports.
Lawson played 13 seasons in the WNBA and was one of the first female analysts in the NBA. She started working alongside the Celtics as an assistant for the 2019-2020 season but was recently hired to be the women’s basketball head coach at Duke. Her first season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Blue Devils posted a 3-1 record in the four games they played before opting to cancel the rest of their season, per SportingNews. She’s obviously qualified to coach a high-level basketball team and Boston’s staff should scoop her up before it’s too late.
Welcome to Duke, Kara Lawson! pic.twitter.com/0IIV5WprPD
— Duke Women’s Basketball (@DukeWBB) July 11, 2020
A protégé ready to go
Becky Hammon is currently the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach alongside NBA legend Gregg Popovich and has been since 2014. She is the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major professional North American sports and is entering her seventh NBA season. Becky is also the first woman to officially coach an NBA game when Popovich was ejected from the Spurs/Lakers game in December 2020.
Hammon has a long history of basketball accomplishments. She is ranked in the top-15 WNBA players of all time and was a six-time all-star in her 16-year playing career, per Buzzfeed Sports. With her current coaching resume, it’s a no-brainer that she be considered for the top spot in Boston.
Becky was interviewed in April by Hoda Kotb on the Today Show and when asked if a woman is ready to lead an NBA team she said. “I mean, this ball is never moving fast enough, in my opinion. People don’t like doing something new and different. It’s uncomfortable. It takes a massive amount of risk. Somebody’s going to have to take a chance.”
Becky Hammon became the first woman in NBA history to serve as head coach after Gregg Popovich got ejected pic.twitter.com/HZvulbiH6Q
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 31, 2020
Hammon said she has no idea when the opportunity will come for a woman to coach, but if she’s the one who’s hired to lead a team, she will embrace the moment.
“In some ways, I feel like it could be in a year,” she said. “In other ways, it could be 10 years. I’m not really sure. What I am sure of is I’ll be ready.”
It should also be noted that in addition to her accomplishments on the court, Hammon’s off-the-court accomplishments are just as impressive. Hammon is most notably recognized as the founder of the #betonwomen movement.
Ok Celtics, it’s time to make history! If you hire either of these worthy candidates, you will inspire women for years to come and create a future that is female in the industry. With sports historically being heavily male-dominated, having a woman fill one of the most important roles on an NBA team would quite literally change the game forever.
So, lace up your sneakers ladies, there may be some glass on the parquet next season!
We anxiously await this announcement.