How Coach Becky Hammon Built a Championship Culture in Las Vegas

Becky Hammon is no stranger to hard work. From playing in the WNBA herself to becoming the first-ever full-time female assistant head coach in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs back in 2014, and now beginning a legacy as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces herein 2022.

In July, Hammon was asked by WSLAM about her career and how she planned to lead the Las Vegas Aces into a new era. When Hammon played in the WNBA, she made six All-Star appearances and four All-WNBA Teams. Then in 2021, Becky was named to The W25, a collection of the twenty-five most influential and greatest players in WNBA history.

“Honestly, it’s not like I’m setting out to do these things,” Hammon told WSLAM about barrier-breaking experiences in the NBA. “You show up, you work, you keep working, and you try to do your job to the best of your ability. And those other things just kind of take care of themselves.”

After a turbulent 2021-2022 NBA off-season in which many vacant head coaching positions were filled by candidates who were not Hammon, Las Vegas took their shot and landed their very own Ace. In Hammon’s first year with the team, she not only won a title and Coach of the Year, but her team earned the No.1 overall record; she was head coach of the 2022 All-Star team and won the Commissioner’s Cup Championship as well.

Since taking the reigns in Las Vegas, Hammon not only diversified Las Vegas’ offensive and defensive schemes but most importantly, she helped her team learn to believe in themselves.

“When you take the word ‘encourage,’ which actually means to give courage to another person, that’s what I’ve tried to speak into them every day,” Hammon said per Ballysports. “It’s how much I believed in them and that we could be special if we all do it together.”

Becky also stated that she believes that the first step to any winning culture is accountability.

“First thing that you have to do in building a championship culture is to set a tone of accountability. Bringing people together for a common goal that’s bigger than themselves, and then you’ve got to get the buy-in factor. My buy-in factor on each one of these women has been high, and I think they respond to me well. I try to be very clear with what their job is, what the expectation is,” Hammon said. “Then, everybody is held to the same line in the sense of, you know, nobody is shooting it over two, three people. Play the right way, and everybody wins, and when we win, everything else takes care of itself.”

It’s safe to say that Hammon’s first season as head coach of the Aces has been a success after leading the Aces to their first-ever title and helping A’ja Wilson win her second MVP andĀ Defensive Player of the YearĀ honors, Kelsey Plum win an All-Star game MVP, and Jackie Young become the 2022 Ā Most Improved Player.