Becky Hammon will make more than $1 million as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces.
Franchise owner Mark Davis confirmed that she'll earn upwards of seven figures on Monday.
The payday is a significant increase from the salary she made with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.
Becky Hammon is the WNBA's first million-dollar woman.
The league legend and six-time All-Star left her longtime gig in the NBA to become the head coach of the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces late last year. Though it was previously reported that Hammon would become the highest-paid coach in the W upon joining the Sin City-based franchise, it wasn't until when owner Mark Davis confirmed his coach's salary would be seven figures.
While introducing the new general manager and head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders — the NFL franchise he owns in addition to the Aces — Davis spoke about the importance of hiring Hammon and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.
"Little girls, guys, anybody can look at her and say, 'She's just like me,'" Davis said, per Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Sam Gordon. "'A small basketball player who's retired and she got the job. And she's making a million dollars. I can do that, too.'"
"That was really important to me to bring in that kind of value," he added.
Hammon was a highly-coveted asset, especially considering she was assumed to become the NBA's first-ever woman head coach after spending eight years as an assistant to coaching great Gregg Popovich for the San Antonio Spurs. The historic payday from Las Vegas was likely necessary to lure Hammon away from the Spurs.
And the haul actually constituted a raise for the first-time head coach. In San Antonio, Hammon was reportedly commanding a $750,000 annual salary. Her earnings with the Aces this year represent at minimum a 33% increase from her NBA salary.
The shift is significant in the WNBA, where players and coaches alike earn significantly less than their NBA counterparts. But not everyone around the league is celebrating Hammon's historic payday.
Free agent Liz Cambage — a 6-foot-8, four-time WNBA All-Star who most recently played for Las Vegas — took to Twitter to lament the fact that WNBA coaches can garner significantly higher wages than even the best-paid players.
The WNBA supermax — reserved for the league's top players — is worth $228,000 for the 2022 season.
"Ahhh yes the @WNBA, where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest paid players super max contract," Cambage wrote. "Lmao and y'all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket."
—Elizabeth Cambage (@ecambage) February 1, 2022
Still, Hammon's move is significant beyond the dollar signs. The decision to leave the NBA for a WNBA gig helps signal that the league is a legitimate competitor for top coaching talent — not just in the women's game, but across all of basketball.
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