Becky Hammon remains steadfast in her desire to be an NBA head coach, but she wants to get one of the league's 30 jobs based on merit.
Speaking to the Associated Press in a phone interview, Hammon opened up about not wanting to be a token hire if an opportunity presents itself.
"Please don't hire me to check a box," she said. "That's the worst thing you can do for me. Hire me because of my skill sets and coaching, who am I as a person, hire me for those."
After the 2020-21 season came to a close, Hammon interviewed with the Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic about their vacant head-coach positions.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Blazers brought Hammon back for a second interview.
Portland chose to hire Chauncey Billups to replace Terry Stotts. The Magic hired Dallas Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley.
Hammon has broken several barriers in seven seasons as an assistant coach on Gregg Popovich's staff with the San Antonio Spurs.
Hammon became the first female head coach in a regular-season NBA game on Dec. 30, 2020, when she took over for the Spurs after Popovich was ejected in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Obviously, it's a big deal," Hammon told reporters after the game. "It's a substantial moment."
When Popovich hired her prior to the 2014-15 season, Hammon became the first woman to serve as a full-time coach in NBA history.
Prior to joining the Spurs coaching staff, Hammon played 16 seasons in the WNBA from 1999 to 2014. She was named one of the league's top 20 players of all time as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration in 2016.