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Spurs assistant Becky Hammon a finalist for Trail Blazers head coaching job

June 22 (UPI) -- San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is on the short list of finalists to become the next head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers. If hired, Hammon would become the first female head coach in NBA history.

Sources told ESPN, The Athletic and NBC Sports Northwest on Monday that Hammond, Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups and Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D'Antoni are among the finalists for the job.

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Sources told ESPN and The Athletic that Hammon is the first woman to advance to the final stages of an NBA head coaching search.

If hired, Hammon would become the first woman to coach a team in any of the major professional men's sports leagues -- NBA, MLB, NHL or NFL -- in the United States.

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South Carolina women's basketball team coach Dawn Staley told reporters Monday that she also spoke to the Trail Blazers about the opening. Sources told The Athletic two weeks ago that Spurs vice president of basketball operations Brent Barry was on the initial list of candidates for the job.

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Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd told ESPN in early June that he withdrew himself from consideration.

The Blazers parted ways with former coach Terry Stotts on June 4. Stotts went 402-318 in nine seasons with the franchise. He led the Blazers to eight-consecutive playoff appearances.

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Hammon, 44, just finished her seventh season on the staff of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. She has interviewed for several head coaching jobs in the past. The six-time WNBA All-Star joined the Spurs in 2014 as the first female full-time coach in league history.

Hammon made history again in December, as the first woman to coach an NBA regular-season game, when she filled in for Popovich after he was ejected.

Billups, a five-time NBA All-Star, is in his first season as an NBA assistant coach. D'Antoni is in his first season as an assistant for the Nets, but has 16 years of head coaching experience. The two-time NBA Coach of the Year last coached the Rockets in 2019-20.

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