WNBA coach Becky Hammon denies mistreating pregnant player

FILE PHOTO: Oct 2, 2022;  Paradise, Nevada, United States;  Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon walks the sidelines before the start of a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 2, 2022; Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon walks the sidelines before the start of a game. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon denied making derogatory remarks about two-time All-Star Dearica Hamby’s pregnancy, telling reporters on Wednesday that the decision to trade her to the Los Angeles Sparks was purely a business one.

The WNBA suspended Hammon for two games on Tuesday, saying she had violated “Respect in the Workplace” policies. The violation “was related to comments made by Hammon to Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy”, the league said in a statement.

The league also docked the Aces their 2025 first-round pick for offering “impermissible benefits” related to Hamby’s contract extension negotiations.

Hamby, who gave birth to her second child in March, initiated a complaint with the league on Jan. 21, the same day she said on social media that she fought to stay with the defending champions “up until the disgusting comments that were made to me”.

Hammon told reporters that while she did ask about Hamby’s pregnancy, she never made derogatory remarks and that their relationship was amicable until she informed the former first-round draft pick that she would be traded.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 31: Dearica Hamby #5 of the Las Vegas Aces warms up before Game Two of the 2022 WNBA Playoffs semifinals against the Seattle Storm at Michelob ULTRA Arena on August 31, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

FILE– Dearica Hamby #5 of the Las Vegas Aces. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

“I handled Dearica with care from day one, when she told me. And she knows that,” said Hammon. “Once I make the phone call that the decision has been made to move her, that’s when everything kind of fell apart.”

A representative for Hamby did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The situation has placed an unwelcome spotlight on the Aces, who are expected to be among the most dominant teams in the league with twice-MVP Candace Parker and two-time champion Alysha Clark joining the reigning Most Valuable Player A’ja Wilson in the off -season.

Hammon, a former six-time WNBA All-Star, is among the highest-profile figures in the coaching ranks. She took the reins in early 2022 after eight years as an assistant coach with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

“I’ll take my little lump on the chin and keep it moving,” said Hammon.

“Everybody’s kind of disappointed in the situation, but, at the end of the day, we know who we are, and so we go to sleep every night in that truth.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.

Your subscription has been successful.


Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896-6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.