Chicago Bulls: 5 intriguing head coaching candidates

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Assistant Coach. Becky Hammon. player. 29. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. San Antonio Spurs. 3

Few people have fully immersed their lives in basketball the way Becky Hammon has. In high school, she was named South Dakota Player of the Year, but did not receive much collegiate attention. She continued playing at Colorado State, where she became a three-time All American, yet still did not receive much attention from NBA scouts.

After going undrafted in 1999, Hammon’s career probably should have ended there. But she was picked up as a project piece by the New York Liberty, and yet again, she defied expectations. Hammon enjoyed a lengthy 15-year career in the WNBA, where she was nominated to the All-WNBA team four times, and selected as an all-star six times. Hammon also had the honor of playing in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

All her life, Hammon has had limitations placed on her shoulders, and every time, she’s bulldozed straight through them. After having her career cut short by an ACL injury in 2013, she began her rehabilitation process in San Antonio with the Spurs facilities.

This is where Hammon was introduced to living-legend coach Gregg Popovich. After leaving a strong impression, she was promptly offered an assistant coaching job with the Spurs the following year.

"“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff. Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic, and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”"

A year later, Hammon was assigned to lead the Austin Spurs G League team, where she promptly led the squad to a championship, making history yet again. In 2016, Hammon became the first woman to coach at the NBA All-Star game, furthering her torrential pace of broken records.

When the best run organization in the NBA adorns you with a shower of compliments, you’re clearly doing something right. Former-Bull and inevitable Hall of Fame inductee Pau Gasol wrote an open letter addressing the immense impact Hammon has had on his career.

"“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.”"

Considering fellow Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina has been groomed for several years to assume the throne in San Antonio once Popovich retires, Hammon may consider moving on to a head coach position with another franchise.

Last year, she interviewed with the Bucks to be head coach; however she came short as Milwaukee instead opted to hire one of the best coaches in the league Mike Budenholzer. Perhaps the rapidly improving roster of the Chicago Bulls can entice Hammon’s interest this summer.