Head coach Becky Hammon and Las Vegas Aces penalized for violating league rules
The GIST: Only three days until the season tips off and the Las Vegas Aces are in hot water. Yesterday, the WNBA stripped the defending champs of their 2025 first-round draft pick and suspended head coach Becky Hammon for two games without pay after investigating former Ace Dearica Hamby’s allegations that she was bullied for being pregnant.
The background: After being traded from Las Vegas to the LA Sparks in January, Hamby wrote that she was “lied to, bullied, [and] manipulated” due to her second pregnancy, which she announced during the Aces’ title celebration last September. Hamby said the team questioned her commitment, despite her plans to play this upcoming season.
The response: The WNBPA released a statement expressing disappointment, saying the league’s decision “misses the mark” and stops short of showing teams that “respect in the workplace is the highest standard and a player’s dignity cannot be manipulated.”
- They will also continue to support Hamby as she “explores all available remedies.” TL;DR? This is far from over.
- On the other hand, the Aces defended Hammon’s character in a statement and expressed their own disappointment in the outcome, claiming that player well-being is “at the forefront of who [they] are.”
Zooming out: As the WNBPA noted in their release, this is the first time the league’s taken away a future draft pick. And it could really cost the Aces, especially as they already traded away their 2024 first-round pick — a tough spot to be in with a boatload of talent set to enter the W soon.