How Becky Hammon Became N.B.A.’s First Full-Time Female Assistant Coach

Jeré Longman:

On her flight home from the 2012 London Olympics, Becky Hammon had a familiar seatmate — Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs.

They talked about a number of Popovich’s interests: politics, wine and the history and culture of Russia, where Hammon played professionally during the W.N.B.A. off-season and for which she had won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.

What they did not talk about much was basketball. Except, Hammon recalled recently, this brief conversation:

“So if you were an assistant for me and I asked you something, you’d tell me the truth?”

“I don’t know why else you’d ask if you didn’t want me to tell the truth.”

“Good, I don’t want a bunch of yes men.”

I feel like more people should be talking about this story.