A Babe in Boy Land


“We are one in the Spirit”

Rebecca Lynn “Becky” Hammon is the first female to be hired as a coach in the NBA, the National Basketball Association, or the “No Boys Allowed” Club. She’s a pretty professional who was not hired for her looks, but for her basketball smarts.   By all accounts, she was hired because of the “content of her character.” I for one am happy for her, and I’m sure Martin Luther King, Jr. would be pleased.

Becky Hammon is a girl in a guy’s world, and she can certainly hold her own. As a junior in high school, she was South Dakota Miss Basketball. As a senior, she was voted the South Dakota Player of the Year after averaging 26 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals per game. Also that year, she was voted female class athlete by her graduating class. Hammon’s prolific scoring for the Colorado State Rams made her an All-American as well as Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. And in the WNBA, Hammon became the seventh player in WNBA history to score 5000 points. Not too shabby.

Someone once told me that men and women shouldn’t work together. Wow. That statement is certainly driven by the fear that men will treat women as “sex objects” and that women will treat men as “boy toys.” This fear doesn’t have to be fact. In God’s eyes, we are all “one in Christ Jesus.” Maybe that’s the problem; everybody isn’t part of the Christian family so there are abuses and mistreatments and cruelties and insults and, unfortunately, much worse. However, if we did things the God way, where “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus,” (Galatians 3:28) we could all live and work and play together as one big happy family.

Hammon has a high basketball IQ, and she is respected by the San Antonio players and coaches alike for her athletic acumen. Being female has nothing to do with her basketball brains and brightness, or her sports insight and foresight. So I’m happy for Becky, the first female coach in a male sport. She earned it. It was not given, it was gotten; it was not awarded it was acquired. And I hope she does well, in spite and despite all of the critics and curmudgeons, all of the naysayers and nitpickers, all of the legalists and gender separatist’s I hope she succeeds and has good success. And I hope you do too.

The Best Player vs. The Best Team = Road Kill

Spurs Team 2014Spurs 2014 ChampionshipDid the Miami Heat catch the license plate of that truck that just ran over their face? I mean, really? Seriously, who saw this one comin’? Not the Heat, that’s for sure. On the Spurs side, Tim Duncan and Parker and Ginobli and MVP Kawhi Leonard and the entire Spurs team were certainly spurred on by that awful and painful, forgettable and yet memorable Game 6 Six loss in last year’s Finals. The Spurs were up by SEVENTEEN in the third quarter, only to lose in overtime. Go figure. Since then, the Heat have been in the Spurs crosshairs for revenge.

Did the Miami Heat actually think that this was going to be seven game series? After winning Game 2 on the Road in San Antonio, it seemed possible, even probable. However, after two horrific losses AT HOME, where they lost by double digits, it was clear that this series would be over almost before it began. So much for all that expected TV revenue and all those lost ticket sales.

Did the Miami Heat underestimate the Spurs and did they overestimate themselves? Ya think? Yuper. For anyone and everyone, that’s a recipe for disaster. Spiritually speaking, when we overestimate our ability and underestimate God’s ability, we will lose every time.

So, what can we learn from the Spurs? More importantly, what can the Heat learn from the Spurs? Is it that one man, even if he is the “best player,” can’t beat the best team? Is it that you can’t play 3 on 5 and win? Or is it that LeBron needs more help? Maybe it’s all of the above. My buddy, Dr. Bill Wright, may have said it best:

“Just a thought. The San Antonio Spurs demonstrated what working together as a team can accomplish. Even though Miami had the best player in the world, he was no match for a team. The combination of good front office people, great coaching and working together made this happen for them. For us, having the Lord God as front office and the Holy Spirit as coach and us working together as a team can change the world (that could preach!) Miami went back to school during this championship series.” Boy, did they ever.

So, do the Spurs have another one in them? Can we expect to see this celebration again next year? Will the Spurs retool and refuel and recharge for another championship run? Do they, will they, can they? Who knows, but the Spurs style of team play was poetry in motion, and thing a beauty to watch.

So hats off and hail to the Spurs! And Kudos to Leonard who averaged 17.8 points on 61 percent shooting in the series, becoming the youngest Finals MVP since Tim Duncan won it in 1999.