Investigation finds Aces promised ‘impermissible benefits’ and violated league rules
The WNBA found that the reigning champions, the Las Vegas Aces, violated league rules regarding impermissible player benefits and violated league and team respect in the workplace policies.
Head coach Becky Hammon has been suspended for two games without pay for violating respect in the workplace policies related to “comments made by Hammon to (Dearica) Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy.” Hamby was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in January after announcing her pregnancy during the Aces’ championship festivities.
The league has also rescinded the Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick.
“It is critical that we uphold the values of integrity and fairness, which create a level playing field for our teams,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “The Aces failed to adhere to league rules and regulations and have been disciplined accordingly. We are also disheartened by the violation of our Respect in the Workplace policies and remain committed to ensuring that enhanced training is conducted and standards are followed across all WNBA teams.”
We have rescinded the Las Vegas Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick for violating league rules regarding impermissible player benefits & suspended head coach Becky Hammon for two games w/o pay for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies
Full Statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/MtHz1yP2Gm
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 16, 2023
The investigation started after Hamby brought up misconduct she experienced from the Aces. After the Instagram post on Jan. 21 where Hamby alleges misconduct, the league and the WNBPA began an investigation into the alleged misconduct. After league interviews with 33 people and reviews of numerous written communication, the investigation found the Aces had violated team and league rules and policies.
The Aces released a statement after the WNBA investigation concluded. They shared they were “deeply disappointed by the outcome of the WNBA investigation.”
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) May 16, 2023
The Sparks and the Aces will play each other in Los Angeles on May 26.
If Hammon serves her two-game suspension during the first two regular-season games, she would not be on the bench for the game against the Sparks. However, she would be back for the second meetup on May 28 in Las Vegas.
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