NEW YORK (AP) Becky Hammon is having a pretty good week.
The San Antonio Spurs assistant coach was honored by the WNBA as one of its 20 greatest players Tuesday and will have her jersey retired by the Stars on Saturday.
''It's going to be an emotional day, an accumulation of so many hours of work,'' Hammon said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. ''So many shots made and missed. The people invested in me, the mentors. It's been a heck of a journey.''
Hammon retired in 2014 after playing the final eight years of her career in San Antonio. The former point guard remains the team's career assists leader with 1,133. She already was honored by the New York Liberty by being put in their ring of honor.
Her stellar career with both the Stars and the Liberty earned her a spot on the league's Top 20.
''That's a huge honor,'' Hammon said about of making the list. ''I came into the WNBA at a really cool time. We had these old school players that hadn't played in the U.S. The camaraderie that they felt and the thankfulness they brought every day to work I learned from.''
Hammon has been a trailblazer herself. The NBA's first fulltime salaried female coach just finished her second year as an assistant for the Spurs.
She has a busy month ahead of her. Hammon will once again coach the Spurs summer league team in Las Vegas in July.
''I'm really looking forward to that,'' she said. ''It was fun, a lot of fun. It's a really great experience for me to be on the sidelines to be managing the team, be the decision maker. It will make me better as a coach.''
Last year she guided them to the summer league title. The 39-year-old laughed when asked if there was pressure to defend the championship.
''Our organization doesn't care,'' she said, chuckling. ''We want (the players) to get better and get a better understanding of what we're trying to do.''
Hammon then added the most important thing was ''don't get anyone injured.''
She's already gained so much valuable experience working with the Spurs the last two seasons. Hammon isn't sure where her next coaching step will be. She knows that her mentor Dan Hughes will be stepping down as the Stars coach at the end of the season. She doesn't plan on taking over for him.
''I've been aware of it for a while,'' she said. ''Right now I'm going to stay put. Other opportunities will come along. I've thought about it. I can be very patient at this point and time. I like my situation so much. Being patient and choosy and picky is the right thing and will only benefit me. I don't want to get into a bad situation.''
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