Head coach No. 2: Becky Hammon
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Becky Hammon being the first female NBA head coach will be a story, for all of the right reasons and all of the wrong ones, but it shouldn’t be applied to an evaluation of her as a head coach. She has proven herself capable in both the NBA and WNBA and she won’t be less effective because she is a woman; there is no compelling argument to make that suggests otherwise.
Her track record is certainly impressive. She spent years learning from the best head coach of his generation, Gregg Popovich, who is on the Mount Rushmore of NBA coaches and whose coaching tree stretches all around the league. Pop’s assistants have been taking jobs and thriving for years, and Hammon can certainly be the latest.
She also has head coaching experience with the Las Vegas Aces, and more than that she has shown the ability to leverage modern basketball principles to make her teams better, and the ability to execute playoff adjustments en route to a title. Hammon’s resume is as strong as anyone’s and she would undoubtedly be an asset for the Cavaliers.
She can help modernize the offensive attack in Cleveland and instill similar principles as she has in Vegas, with an emphasis on floor spacing and movement. Her leadership, tactics and experience combine to make her a top candidate if she is ready to leave the WNBA for an NBA job.