Gregg Popovich’s great advice to young Coaches

As you’ve probably heard by now, the San Antonio Spurs made history yesterday when Head Coach Gregg Popovich hired Becky Hammon to be the first full-time women’s coach in NBA history.

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I have no idea how well this sort of thing is going to work out, though it’s hard to see Popovich hiring anyone if he didn’t feel they were qualified. The point of bringing up the USA Today article which covered the hiring wasn’t about making history, it was about something else in the article, a quote from a year ago when Hammon had been working with the Spurs after Popovich discovered that she wanted to coach after leaving the WNBA.

“She’s been perfect,” Popovich said then. “She knows when to talk, and she knows when to shut up. That’s as simple as you can put it, and a lot of people don’t figure that out. … She knows how to do it, and our players really respond to her. She’s just a natural.”

As is tradition, Coach Pop doesn’t mince words in this case, but the point is made. Sometimes your success as a young coach can be measured not only by what you do, but also by what you say (or, in this case, choose not to say).


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