Becky Hammon made history with the Spurs on Wednesday night, becoming the first woman ever to be a head coach in an NBA game. When Kyrie Irving was asked about it after Nets practice on Thursday, he praised Hammon and chuckled that he was glad that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich got ejected and cleared the way for Hammon.
“It’s a genderless society that’s going on in 2020, and I respect it,” Irving told reporters. “There shouldn’t be any role that is deemed male or female.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) December 31, 2020
This all comes after Irving initially determined he would not fulfill his obligation to speak with reporters during this Nets season and then was fined by the NBA. Over the past couple weeks, Irving has begun to do routine Zoom press conferences like his teammates do, but because of his superstardom and natural curiosity about the world outside of basketball, Irving often gets asked big-picture questions like this one.
Of course, Irving is also in his own small way involved with women’s basketball, especially after offering to pay the salaries of WNBA stars such as Natasha Cloud and Renee Montgomery who sat out the 2020 Bubble season.
Year after year, Hammon continues to be largely ignored when it comes to head coaching searches around the NBA, but she nevertheless continues to be a trail blazer in this league and seems to have enormous respect from players and coaches everywhere. Count Irving among those excited about her finally getting a chance on Wednesday.