Raptors could make history by hiring Becky Hammon as first female NBA head coach
Will the Toronto Raptors hire a female head coach for the first time in franchise history?
It appears Becky Hammon is in the mix, as the Raptors get ready to speak to numerous coaching candidates in an effort to replace Nick Nurse, who was fired last week.
The Raptors have "secured permission" to speak to Hammon, who is currently the head coach of the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Hammon, 46, led the Aces to a championship in 2022 and was named WNBA coach of the year. She moved to the WNBA in 2022, following an eight-year stint as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs.
The South Dakota native was also a six-time All-Star during her WNBA playing career.
Wojnarowski reports that the Raptors’ initial list of candidates is "robust," and includes a list of current NBA assistant coaches, ex-NBA head coaches, as well as NCAA and WNBA coaches.
Toronto currently has permission to speak with a list of assistant coaches, according to Wojnarowski, that includes: Kenny Atkinson (Golden State), Charles Lee (Milwaukee), Kevin Young (Phoenix), Mitch Johnson (San Antonio), Jordi Fernandez (Sacramento), Darko Rajakovic (Memphis), and Chris Quinn (Miami). Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin is also expected to get an interview, according to the report.
Nurse was fired after five seasons as Raptors head coach. After a return to the playoffs in 2022, the Raptors finished with a 41-41 record this season and were ousted during the play-in round.
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