In the Spurs' home game against the NBA's defending champions, Becky Hammon created history, becoming the first woman ever to coach a regular-season game.
"Obviously it's a big deal ... it's a substantial moment," she said postgame .
She took over the head coaching duties after Gregg Popovich was ejected with 3:56 remaining in the second quarter.
Spurs assistant Becky Hammon filled in for an ejected Gregg Popovich.- ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2020
She's believed to be the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA regular-season game. pic.twitter.com/VyQqVNaPhc
"He [Coach Popovich] pointed at me and said, 'You got it.'," Hammon explains how she got to know she was taking over.
The former WNBA star joined the Spurs coaching staff in 2014. At that time, she was the second female assistant coach in NBA history and the first full-time assistant coach. In 2018, she earned a seat alongside Pop after James Borrego took up the head coaching opportunity in Charlotte.
"She's here for a reason. ... I think she's going to be a head coach in this league someday." Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said on Hammon's feat.
The Spurs went on to lose this game 121-107 behind 26 points and eight assists from LeBron James, who set a one-of-a-kind NBA record in the game, becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 1,000 consecutive regular season games with at 10+ points.
For the Spurs, Dejounte Murray led the way with 29 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists but the hosts couldn't take control of the game after the Lakers' late first-quarter charge.
As per NBA bookkeeping rules, the loss falls to Popovich's record.
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