clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gregg Popovich’s first ejection leads to “head coach by committee”

It’s up to you to decide if Becky Hammon made history tonight or not.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

It took 13 games, two quarters and some change, but Gregg Popovich got his first ejection of the season. It came early in the third quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers after Damian Lillard earned 8 quick free throws in the first two-and-a-half minutes, and the one that sent Pop over the edge was one where Lillard flinched while Derrick White was standing next to him to earn the call, but replays showed zero contact.

With Pop gone, that meant NBA history to the tune of Becky Hammon becoming the first female to coach a regular season NBA game. Or did it? It wasn’t immediately clear, as it appeared to be a situation of head coach by committee between Becky, Tim Duncan and Will Hardy. She could be seen holding the clipboard, but Duncan was operating the timeout, and no one was standing and shouting directions (although Timmy seemed to wound up to sit at times).

Later, the Spurs made it clear it was in fact “head coach by committee”, so I guess it’s up to the masses to decide if history was made or not. One thing is for sure: no one can accuse Pop of forcing the ejection just to make history, but it still feels like a nice troll job on the Spurs’ part.