When Sky coach Pokey Chatman went to the United Center for the Bulls’ 104-81 win last Thursday over the San Antonio Spurs, part of her was there just to watch basketball without having to stress over running a team. But she was also there to see friend and Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, the first woman to serve full-time on an NBA staff.
It’s a night that Chatman will remember for a long time, something she said was “emotional for me, for so many different reasons.” Chatman said when play went away from the Spurs’ end, she would still look over to see Hammon on the San Antonio bench.
“I felt like I was kind of floating,” Chatman said.
A day before the game the two shared a meal. They discussed the Spurs’ process and what their environment is like and just the speed of Hammon’s life. And after Chatman asked, they also talked about whether Hammon realizes how meaningful her job is to a lot of people.
“I asked the question, and she said ‘It’s not that I feel it, I welcome it, I understand it and I value it,’” Chatman said. “’I don’t feel like it’s additional pressure. I’m just proud that I’m the one to help it along.’”