Except, that's not what happened.
Hammon, a former WNBA player, became the first female to hold a full-time assistant coach in the NBA when she joined the Spurs. If the logic of the top assistant taking over in the absence of the head coach had held up, she would have been the first woman to serve as head coach of a major men's professional sports team in the U.S. — even if just for a while.
Although Hammon kept on doing her thing after Popovich was ejected during a foul call in the third quarter of the Spurs' matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers, Pop later clarified that Hammon wasn't filling his shoes for the rest of the game.
Hammon led the coaches' huddles during timeouts following Popovich's ejection, while Tim Duncan, the longtime Spur who's in his first season as an assistant coach, consulted with players.
During a post-game conference, confused media asked Popovich to clarify who was the head coach for the rest of the game.
"Timmy was," he answered.
As for Hammon not being in the lead?
That comes after folks on social media assumed during the game that history was in fact being made.
Becky Hammon running the Spurs bench after Gregg Popovich gets ejected 👀 pic.twitter.com/mTOrcAxGTD— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) November 17, 2019
Raps/Mavs in Dallas is pretty absorbing ... but hard not to shift focus right now to San Antonio: Gregg Popovich has been ejected in the third quarter and Becky Hammon is now coaching the Spurs — with Tim Duncan as top assistant— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 17, 2019
A look into the future tonight: Gregg Popovich ejected, Becky Hammon becomes the first woman to take control of an NBA team in a regular season game. Suspect it won't be long until she's given a head coaching opportunity in the league.— Anthony DiCicco (@DiCiccoMethod) November 17, 2019
About her journey: https://t.co/ftPw91xa8R
Since Becky Hammon is officially listed as first assistant with Pop’s ejection she becomes the first female acting head coach of an NBA team during the regular season. And I can’t think of another time in any of 4 major US sports.— Greg Simmons (@GregSimmonsKSAT) November 17, 2019
The first woman to serve as a head coach of a USA men’s professional sports league.— Lindsey Darvin, Ph.D. (@DrLindseyDarvin) November 17, 2019
Becky Hammon has now officially served as the first woman head coach in the NBA. In 2019. #WomenInSport pic.twitter.com/sWmOpuSXEP
Becky Hammon has taken over the San Antonio Spurs after Coach Pop ejected. pic.twitter.com/XbcvHAmnkx— Ryan (@RyanMaue) November 17, 2019
With Pop’s ejection, Becky Hammon becomes the first woman to serve as head coach of a men’s team in four major sports, making history. #GoSpursGo— Stephen Anderson (@thestephena_) November 17, 2019
It's a hard for me not to see last night as another ex. of a qualified woman being robbed of a chance at history bc a man with less experience was "more deserving" of the job.— Sarah Digby (@sarahelizdig) November 17, 2019
Timmy has been coaching 3 mos. Becky Hammon has been coaching 5 yrs and is Pop's lead assistant coach.
That's awesome, reporter is more interested in the politically correct angle of the story, Pop just tells it like it is though...— Sean (@SOBJourneyman) November 17, 2019
Chauvinist Pig. Becky is lead assistant and "Timmy" has been coaching for about 15 minutes.— J SooHoo (@j_soohoo) November 17, 2019
I want Becky to get in to get her slice of history but goddam do I love this man. Ask a question, by God he'll answer it. Barely.— Jorge Jettison (@fairelyethereal) November 17, 2019
Her-story ALMOST made as San Antonio’s Spurs coach Greg Popovich gets ejected and lead assistant Becky Hammon assumably took over, becoming the first female NBA coach— thegistnews.ca (@thegistnewsca) November 17, 2019
BUT Pop said after the game that it was assistant Tim Duncan that actually took over 😢
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