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Becky Hammon: 'I'll be ready' to be NBA's 1st female head coach if given the chance

The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach weighed in on when a woman may lead an NBA team. “In some ways, I feel like it could be in a year. In other ways, it could be 10 years."
/ Source: TODAY

If and when the call comes to be the head coach an NBA team, Becky Hammon will be there to answer it.

Last December, the San Antonio Spurs assistant coach became the first woman to coach an NBA game after head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Becky Hammon
Hammon is "ready" to become the first woman to lead any team in the four major North American sports leagues.Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

Hammon says she feels it's time a woman serve as a head coach in the league.

“Of course,” she told Hoda Kotb in a preview of an interview for NBC's upcoming prime-time special “Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List” that aired Thursday on TODAY. “I mean, this ball is never moving fast enough, in my opinion. People don't like doing something new and different. It's uncomfortable. It takes massive amount of risk. Somebody's going to have to take a chance.”

Hammon, 44, says she has no idea when the opportunity will come for a woman to coach, but if she’s the one who’s hired to lead a team, she will embrace the moment.

“In some ways, I feel like it could be in a year,” she said. “In other ways, it could be 10 years. I'm not really sure. What I'm sure of is, I'll be ready.”

Hammon, who is in her sixth season on the Spurs coaching staff after a 16-year playing career in the WNBA, is the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major professional North American sports.

In addition to Hammon, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés and CEO of Feeding America Claire Babineaux-Fontenot will be featured on "Inspiring America."

The special will shine a light on people making a difference in the world. It premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Telemundo while an encore broadcast will air Sunday on CNBC at 3 p.m. ET and MSNBC at 10 p.m. ET.

It will also be available to stream on NBC News NOW on May 2 at 9 p.m. ET and on Peacock on demand. Hoda will co-host, along with Savannah Guthrie and NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt.