Becky Hammon is qualified to be an NBA coach — so why hasn’t it happened yet?

When San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich got ejected from a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in late December, he turned to assistant coach Becky Hammon and pointed at her. According to Hammon, he said, “You’ve got them.” When Hammon took over coaching responsibilities for the duration of the game, it gave everyone a glimpse of what could be.

I’ve always admired Hammon. Her road to the WNBA and legendary basketball status was not laid out on a red carpet. She wasn’t highly recruited going into college. She wasn’t even drafted in the WNBA. Despite the obstacles, she kept proving herself again and again. She grinded and worked and lifted her game to such heights, she became one of the best point guards in basketball history.

And yet, after all that Hammon has accomplished, she’s still out on the court working just as hard, only this time as a coach. For the past seven years, Hammon has been an assistant on the Spurs, putting in the time and hours and dedication, still determined to prove she’s being underestimated, that those who doubt her will ultimately see that she’s fully capable of being the head coach of an NBA team—something no other woman has done before.

Read more on Courtside