Becky Hammon downplays Raptors amid coaching rumors

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Becky Hammon of the Las Vegas Aces(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors’ initial list of coaches who could come in to replace Nick Nurse appeared to be fairly garden variety, as it featured a good mix of deposed ex-head coaches like Kenny Atkinson and up-and-coming assistants like Sacramento’s Jordi Fernandez.

One name that stood out is Becky Hammon, a longtime Spurs assistant and current title-winning head coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. If hired, Hammon would be the first female head coach in North American Sports history in what would be a truly groundbreaking moment.

Her latest comments, however, make it sound like there is a very minimal chance of her actually leaving one of the WNBA’s premier franchises to join the Raptors. Between this and Ime Udoka’s bloviations, it’s been a tough couple of days for the Raptors’ perception among the coaching community.

“I’m not commenting on Toronto,” Hammon said. “This is all about the Aces, and I won’t take one moment away from these women to talk about them boys.” With how attractive the Aces’ job actually is, she would have to be very impressed by the Raptors to walk away.

Becky Hammon pours cold water on Toronto Raptors rumors.

The Aces appear to be on the ground floor of becoming a WNBA juggernaut, with Hammon on the sidelines serving as one of the main reasons they are held in such high regard. That plan would blow up if Hammon joined the Raptors, which she may not be keen to do.

Fresh off a title, Hammon’s reputation in the WNBA is beyond reproach. She could stay in the WNBA and get treated like royalty as the head architect of the premier team in the league. Toronto might not be as glamorous for someone like Hammon that has options.

While the allure of making history could be appealing for Hammon, she will also not take a job with a lower chance at a league championship than what she could end up getting with the Raptors. She has the luxury of waiting in Vegas until the perfect job comes open.

The Raptors won’t necessarily wait on Hammon, as names like Fernandez have already gotten a head start on the interview process. However, the Raptors aren’t going to make a decision in the next 12 hours, so Hammon might re-enter the race at a later date if the team isn’t sold on any of the names they have interviewed.

Next. 5 Raptors who won't be back next season. dark