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Reports: Milwaukee Bucks set to interview Becky Hammon, David Blatt

The Charlotte Hornets hired their new coach yesterday, bringing in San Antonio Spurs assistant James Borrego for the job. Phoenix and New York did likewise days before that, with the Suns hiring Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov and the Knicks hiring former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale.

Joe Prunty held the Milwaukee Bucks’ coaching job — albeit on an interim basis — for most of last season. However, the Bucks are still in the thick of their coaching search and will have two key interviews in the coming days.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Matt Velazquez, the Bucks plan to meet with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and current Spurs assistant Becky Hammon. Here’s more from Wojnarowski and Velazquez (via Twitter) on what’s next for the Bucks:

After Monty Williams interviewed for the Bucks coaching job on Thursday, two more candidates on deck this week, league sources tell ESPN: David Blatt and Becky Hammon. There will be a smaller group of finalists advancing to meet ownership.

Per league source, Bucks have interviews with Becky Hammon & David Blatt lined up. Could be another interview upcoming with another assistant. When 1st round of interviews is done, GM Jon Horst will narrow it down to 3-4 finalists & ownership will join the interview process.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hired Hammon to the Spurs coaching staff in 2014, making her the first female full-time assistant in the NBA.

Hammon, a six-time WNBA All-Star, also made history in 2015 when she became the first female coach in NBA Summer League, guiding the Spurs to a Las Vegas championship.

Hammon, 41, would be the fourth Spurs assistant to interview for a coaching job this spring. Borrego, Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka have already interviewed for several openings. She had been in discussions to interview for the Bucks’ vacancy as of last week.

Velazquez also reports that Messina has already interviewed with the Bucks for their opening, too. Additionally, Spurs forward Pau Gasol — in a piece he wrote for The Players’ Tribune on Friday — praised Hammon’s qualifications as a coach:

The argument that I see most often is thankfully the one that’s easiest to disprove: It’s this idea that, at the absolute highest level of basketball, a woman isn’t capable of coaching men. “Yeah, female coaches are fine coaching women’s college basketball, or the WNBA,” the argument goes. “But the NBA? The NBA is different.”

First, I’ve just gotta tell you: If you’re making that argument to anyone who’s actually played any high-level basketball, you’re going to seem really ignorant. But I also have a simple response to it — which is that I’ve been in the NBA for 17 years. I’ve won two championships … I’ve played with some of the best players of this generation … and I’ve played under two of the sharpest minds in the history of sports, in Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich.

And I’m telling you: Becky Hammon can coach. I’m not saying she can coach pretty well. I’m not saying she can coach enough to get by. I’m not saying she can coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches. I’m saying: Becky Hammon can coach NBA basketball. Period.

Blatt led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2014-15, his first season in the NBA. He got off to a 30-11 start in 2015-16, but was fired season and replaced by associate head coach Tyronn Lue. One of Europe’s most celebrated coaches before he was hired in Cleveland, Blatt, now coaching in Turkey, went 83-40 in his tenure with the Cavs.

In August of 2017, Blatt told The Jerusalem Post that he wanted to coach again in the NBA.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.