Tuesday, September 20, 2022

opinion | Becky Hyman's WNBA title in her first season as coach is a testament to how men can support the women's game. CBC Sports

This is a column by Shireen Ahmed, who writes opinion for CBC Sports. For more information about Opinion Section of CBCplease look general question,

The Las Vegas Aces beat the Connecticut Suns 78-71 to win the WNBA Championship on Sunday, making them the first team from the desert city to win a title in professional sports.

The Aces have held themselves up with a firm belief and intention since the beginning of the season. This franchise has dedicated players, and a fan base, as well as a coach who was voted the 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year.

it was from becky hyman First Year Coaching in the WNBA, Before joining the franchise in Las Vegas, Hammon was an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs alongside NBA icon Tim Duncan. Both of these legends were under the tutelage of Gregg Popovich, arguably one of the best men to coach the sport.

“The talent on the court was noble, and it was clear that [the players] Worked incredibly hard, complemented each other well and everyone was bought into the system by first-year head coach, Becky Hyman,” says Lindsay GibbsFamous sports writer and author of power play Newspaper.

“In his debut year as a head coach in the WNBA, Hammon, who was named the highest-paid coach in the off-season, truly put all the basic pieces together and made them click.”

humman a phenom

Hammon is a phenom in itself. After playing basketball at Colorado State University, she went without a draft but played in the WNBA for 16 years with the New York Liberty. She retired and ended her career with the San Antonio Stars in 2014.

The Stars moved to Las Vegas in 2018 to become the Aces. Hammon was the Stars’ all-time leader in assists per game with a point average of 15.6, and the WNBA leader in free throw percentage at 89.7 percent.

look | Las Vegas Aces capture WNBA title

Las Vegas Aces win first WNBA title

The Las Vegas Aces won the franchise’s first WNBA title on Sunday after beating the Connecticut Suns 78-71 in game four.

He is a player and a coach I have admired for a long time. And it inspired me to think deeply about the ways that men can help make sport for all. I fell in love with men’s basketball because of the San Antonio Spurs. I was always a fan of hockey and soccer but my ex-husband loved basketball.

I watched a few games with him but it wasn’t until I saw Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker playing with so much fluidity that I was mesmerized. As I learned more about Popovich (known everywhere as “Pop”), I came to appreciate the game, his coaching, and the team that was there even more. The team culture was kind of different with the Spurs and more aligned with what I wanted.

In 2015, my mentor and friend Dave Zirin went to San Antonio and attended a private meeting organized by Spurs and Dr. John Carlos. At the time, it wasn’t often that a sports journalist and an Olympian who had confronted the evils of systemic racism in sports hung out with NBA stars and talked about the famous protest — or social — of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. The issues were discussed openly. But Popovich wanted to have this type of conversation with his players, his team and his staff. This is how you build a better culture in sports.

Listen: John Carlos reflects on his historic Black Power salute:

Why19:07John Carlos reflects on his historic Black Power salute

John Carlos reflects on the quietly defiant gesture seen around the world during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

Hamon made history

It would come as no surprise that just a year before that, Pop hired Hyman as the second female assistant coach in the league and secured a full-time position for the first time. On December 30, 2021, Hyman became First woman to become head coach of an NBA team Pop was further kicked out after he found a technical glitch. Hyman occupies the bench. Pop downplayed the phenomenon by focusing on his skills, not his gender. He said very powerfully and very succinctly: “I didn’t hire Becky to make history. She earned it.”

The endorsement of a leader like five-time championship-winning Coach Pop changed the way people saw a woman on the bench. that matters. Having one of the greatest players (Duncan) to be with him, and giving him the NBA Coach of the Year winner, means a lot. But none of the NBA teams called him to take over and we looked at Hammon and saw Passed on to other coaching jobs,

In early 2022, Las Vegas made him head coach of the Aces. She was ready. And she did what we knew she would be in a league with the best coaches and players in the world. His accuracy and his focus are unshakable. As Hammon was on the verge of securing his first title as head coach, Pop came to show how much he believed in him and always has. The pride on her face and her happiness is amazing.

Besides Pop, another great example is Aces owner Mark Davis, who chose to participate in Game 4 of the WNBA playoffs in Connecticut while his other team, the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, held their season opener at home. Davis was credited with giving a women’s sports team as much importance as a professional men’s team. Yes, his decision meant that he was presented with the league championship trophy. But choosing to support women’s sport and invest fully in their success is a scene we need to see.

I believe that women are powerful, strong and brilliant. I know what they have achieved is because of patience, sacrifice and the community of other women. This is my own experience as well. As one of the few post-racial women in sports media in this country, I know how men can support the careers of female colleagues.

I’m lucky enough to have a few mentors and “working husbands” who are nothing but encouraging. They trust my work and value my opinion. I’m not as talented a writer as Hammon is as a basketball player or coach, but I have friends in my career who support me in a pop-esque way, which boosts my confidence and my desire to be better. has increased.

I consider myself lucky to have people who have made me feel flat or disappointed. Hammon being passed over by the NBA franchise at times must have been disappointing.

But if we want to start recognizing that women’s sports are important, men need to start treating their partners with the respect they deserve. And that includes giving them the opportunities we know they deserve.

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