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Hoops Happening: Today in women’s basketball — Thursday May 17, 2018 (Part 1)

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Milwaukee Bucks keep boys’ club intact with Mike Budenholzer hire. Has the NBA franchise also erased Becky Hammon from its head coaching narrative?

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors
Becky Hammon prior to Game 2 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2018 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Although it is hard to imagine a world in which this is true, let’s pretend Becky Hammon sucks as a coach, that she was the least qualified candidate for the head coaching position with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, and that she bombed her interview in astonishing style.

Would all of that warrant Hammon’s total erasure from the Bucks’ head coaching narrative when, as the first woman to be interviewed for a head coaching position in the NBA, she was the candidate to draw the most media attention?

Her San Antonio Spurs’ colleague, Ettore Messina, had been considered a finalist among the Bucks’ front office until he lost out to Mike Budenholzer, who last coached for the Atlanta Hawks. Apparently, Bucks General Manager Jon Horst had his sights set on Budenholzer the whole time.

But raise your hand if you knew Messina had interviewed for the position, too, let alone that he had been considered a finalist for it. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Given that Messina is also a fruit from the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich Coaching Tree, to mention Messina’s candidacy in an article about the Bucks naming a new head coach, but not to mention Hammon’s, seems like a giant oversight by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski if not an outright slight.

Then again, professional sports leagues and teams, like any other big businesses, carefully control the information released from their public relations departments. Press releases are carefully worded and approved before dissemination to the media. Wojnarowski’s report is based on “league sources,” so it would be very safe to assume his article is based on a press release from the Bucks’ organization.

If this is the case, the Bucks have made a very loud and very ugly statement by not mentioning Hammon’s name in the release, but taking note to identify her lesser-known colleague as a finalist. If, however, it is the journalist who omitted her from the narrative, then shame on him for being tone-deaf to the historical implications of Hammon’s candidacy.

An NPR headline alluded to the importance of Hammon having started an important conversation. Yes, this is a step in the right direction. But Hammon was seated at the table with the boys! The least the Bucks could do would be to restrain themselves from erasing all evidence that she was ever there.

#WatchThemWork

The 2018 WNBA season tips off tomorrow with the Phoenix Mercury hosting the Dallas Wings at Talking Stick Resort Arena! The game airs at 10 p.m. EST on NBA TV. The following schedules provide information on all nationally-televised games for the season:

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