Gasol: Becky Hammon can coach in the NBA
With Becky Hammon in line to become the first female head coach in the NBA, Pau Gasol heaped praise on the San Antonio Spurs assistant.
San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol believes it is obvious that Becky Hammon should be an NBA head coach.
Hammon, who has been an assistant with the Spurs since 2014, is reportedly set to interview for the Milwaukee Bucks vacancy.
The 41-year-old would be the first female head coach in the NBA if hired by the Bucks.
Gasol – a two-time NBA champion – addressed the possibility of Hammon leading an NBA franchise as the Spaniard heaped praise on the Spurs assistant.
"Becky Hammon can coach," Gasol wrote in a letter published by The Players' Tribune on Friday. "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."
Hammon played 16 seasons in the WNBA and was an All-Star six times.
Gasol said Hammon has a deep understanding of the game. The former Los Angeles Lakers star mentioned a practice this year in which she corrected a flaw in a standard pick-and-roll drill he was running with point guard Dejounte Murray.
"She noticed a small detail out of the corner of her eye — and then instantly located both the problem and the solution," Gasol wrote. "And not only that, but we were also able to communicate with each other in such a way that we got the result that we needed … I don't think I caught another stray pass the rest of the season."
Gasol, who has been coached by both Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich in his 17-year career, believes the NBA is a forward-thinking league, but there is still "a ways to go".
"What I would say to my NBA family right now, I think, is, Hey — let's all keep up the great work," Gasol said. "Let's be proud … But let's also not be satisfied."