Becky Hammon, the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, addressed the media following her suspension for violating league and team workplace policies. Despite her disappointment with the league’s findings, she expressed her eagerness to move forward and focus on playing excellent basketball.
The investigation was prompted by former Aces forward Dearica Hamby, who alleged that the team discriminated against her due to her pregnancy after she was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in January. Coach Hammon firmly stated that Hamby’s pregnancy was never a factor in the decision to trade her.
“The decision to move Hamby was based on practical considerations. We could acquire three players in exchange for her contract. It was never about her pregnancy, and it was never a point of concern. It simply came down to numbers and business. Throughout, I maintained a positive relationship with Hamby, which might be why she felt the way she did. It feels like a betrayal, but it’s an unfortunate part of my job. Sometimes, someone has to deliver bad news.”
Hamby had previously signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces in June. She denied allegations that she had signed the extension while aware of her pregnancy. The league’s investigation revealed a workplace violation related to comments made by Hammon to Hamby regarding her pregnancy, and a team violation regarding improper benefits promised during contract negotiations.
As a result, Coach Hammon received a suspension without pay for the Aces’ first two regular-season games, and the team forfeited a first-round draft pick for 2025.
Hammon stated that the league informed her that the suspension was due to her inquiries about Hamby’s pregnancy and a private conversation between them. However, she believed that her relationship with Hamby was positive during their time together on the Aces. According to Hammon, everything fell apart when the decision to trade Hamby was made.
“I don’t want to dismiss or invalidate any pain that Dearica felt. I’m sorry if her feelings were hurt. It’s my responsibility to have difficult conversations, but I also have a job to do. My objective is to improve the Aces each year, and sometimes that involves tough decisions. Although I didn’t intend the conversation to go the way she perceived it, I regret any distress caused. I don’t take pleasure in inflicting pain or stress on anyone. It’s simply not in my nature. It’s not who I am.”
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