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Aces trainer Becky Hammon explains why she left the NBA for the WNBA

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

After interviewing several NBA teams for head coaching jobs, Hammon said it was the approach taken by owner Mark Davis and team president Nikki Fargas that sealed her decision, even though she had no original intention of leaving the NBA.

“I’ve sat in head coaching interviews [in the NBA] and people said two things: You’ve only been to San Antonio and never been the head coach, ‘”Hammon said.” Well, I can tell you now that Mark Davis met me, Nikki [Fargas] met me and said, ‘This is a head coach right now.’ “

Hammon, who said she would finish the season with the Spurs before making a full move to the Aces, has been an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s team since 2014.

The 44-year-old coach said she felt she could give back to the league with the Liberty and the Stars after a 16-year playing career in which she was six times WNBA All-Star.

“I couldn’t be more proud than going back to the W,” said Hammon. “That’s where I come from. Without the WNBA, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, so I couldn’t be happier to come back and give something back. “

Hammon replaces Bill Laimbeer, who set a 77-45 record with the team in four seasons including a trip to the 2020 final.

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