Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon denied Wednesday that Dearica Hamby was bullied for being pregnant and said the team’s subsequent trade was a “business” decision.
Hammon also took issue with the WNBA for suspending her for two games without pay and rescinding the Aces’ first-round draft pick in 2025. The penalties were announced Tuesday following an investigation by the league.
“I don’t recall my relationship with Hamby being anything but on the up and up, and I’m just — obviously along with the organization — disappointed with the findings,” Hammon said. “It’s never (good) to have your name be associated with something like that, which is not who you are as a person. That’s not how I operate. I did talk to my team; they were great. I have to say they’ve been very professional throughout this whole process.”
Hammon, 46, said she did ask Hamby about her pregnancy on one occasion but opted against sharing specifics.
“I guess you’d have to ask for (the league’s) interpretation,” Hammon said. “But, yeah, that from my understanding was my misstep, if you will.”
Per the WNBA, Hammon’s two-game suspension is for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies.
Hamby, who was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks on Jan. 21, said in an Instagram post that the Aces treated her in an “unprofessional and unethical way that … has been traumatizing” due to her pregnancy.
Hammon contends that the trade allowed the Aces to clear up salary-cap space in order to sign Candace Parker, a two-time WNBA MVP and seven-time All-Star. Parker ranks 10th on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list with 6,412 points and third in rebounds with 3,370.
“We made the decision to move Hamby because we could get three bodies in for her one contract,” Hammon said. “I think it’s very evident who we signed why we made the move, but (Hamby’s pregnancy) was never an issue and it was never the reason she was traded. It just wasn’t. It came down to math and business. That’s all it was. Nothing personal.
“I had a great relationship with Hamby the whole time, which is probably why she felt the way she did. It feels like a betrayal. It’s a crappy part of my job, but somebody’s got to be the bearer of bad news.”
–Field Level Media