WNBA Finals: Becky Hammon Bet On Herself As Connecticut Sun Earn Respect In Defeat
In her first year as a head coach, Becky Hammon is already leaving her peers in the dust.
Hammon, a former WNBA player, became the first WNBA head coach to win a title in her debut season when the Aces defeated the Sun in Game 4 on Sunday.
Hammon and Sun coach Curt Miller had their own history going into this year’s Finals.
Miller was an assistant coach at Colorado State when Hammon starred there as a player from 1995-99.
Hammon also made a name for herself as a San Antonio Stars player and a San Antonio coach.
She spent eight years as an assistant coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and a protégée of five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich.
Hammon was considered for a number of NBA jobs, but her first head-coaching position came with the Aces this season.
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Becky Hammon doesn’t need validation from anything but her impeccable record, solidified by her first WNBA championship as a head coach.
“I’m used to people not picking me — I don’t know if you’re aware. I just do me,” she said after Game 2.
The Connecticut Sun have to wait a year before they get another shot at a championship, but there’s no disrespect here.
The Sun exceeded expectations and almost forced a Finals Game 5 in another near-title run.
Much has been made of the Sun’s recent postseason record, but does the fault lie more so in the team itself or in the circumstances?
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The Sun pushed the Washington Mystics to the brink in a deciding Game 5 in 2019, ultimately falling as the Mystics won their first championship.
In 2021, they earned the best seed in the postseason before losing to the eventual champion Chicago Sky in four games in the semifinals.
In 2022, they overcame the Sky in five games but couldn’t contain the Aces enough to avoid defeat in the Finals.
The Sun were monsters in the paint, and successfully drew their opponents into playing at their tempo throughout the 2022 postseason.
They never backed down from the offensive puzzles the Aces presented, but the 2-0 hole they fell into early in the series was too great to overcome.
A truth of sports is that sometimes you get the right group together, but the timing never quite works out.
The Sun have alluded to changes in the offseason, but they should walk into it with their heads held high.
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