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Las Vegas Aces announce Becky Hammon as next head coach

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Becky Hammon is officially the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces. The team announced her hiring on Friday after it was reported the sides were closing in on a record deal.

“I am so excited to return to the WNBA and grateful for Mark Davis and Nikki Fargas having a vision for me to lead the Aces,” Hammon said. “This is where I come from, and I wouldn’t be me without the W. I’m thrilled to be able to give back and lead this next group of women.”

Hammon returns to the WNBA after a 16-year playing career that included six All-Star Game appearances. Following her retirement in 2014, Hammon became an assistant coach on Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs staff, helping lead the team to the NBA championship in 2015.

The former WNBA star was considered for the head coaching position with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018, becoming the first woman to interview for the job in the NBA. She had also interviewed with the Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers during their respective searches for a head coach.

Hammon will replace Bill Laimbeer, who served as Aces head coach for four seasons, leading the team to the WNBA Finals in 2020. Laimbeer will remain with the team in a different capacity, including helping with 2022 roster decisions and free agency.

“This is the best possible scenario for the Las Vegas Aces,” Laimbeer said. “It takes a tremendous amount of energy to be a head coach. In Becky, the team now has somebody who can serve in that role for the long term, which is great for both the players and the franchise.”

Hammon is expected to remain with the Spurs before assuming her new position with the Aces for the 2022 season.

Though the terms of her contract have not been made public, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hammon’s five-year deal will make her the highest-paid coach in the WNBA.