Hammon denies bullying, chides WNBA inquiry-News

Las Vegas Aces Coach Becky Hammon defended herself strongly against the organization on Wednesday following the WNBA’s announcement that she has been suspended two games without pay and that the 2025 first-round pick has been revoked from the game against the players. Dearica Hamby.

Hamby said he was sold in January to Los Angeles Sparks because she was pregnant and that Ace abused her. Hammon argued that the trade was a “business decision” based on the needs of the Aces.

penalties, he announced on Tuesdayfollowing the WNBA survey.

“I don’t remember my relationship with Hamby being anything but up-and-down, and I’m just – obviously along with the organization – I’m disappointed with what it’s found,” Hammon said in the video. He prepared the punishments before they were announced. “There hasn’t been [good] to have your name associated with something like that, which is not who you are as a person. That’s not how I work. I spoke to my team; they were big. I have to say they have been very professional throughout the process. “

Hammon said, to his knowledge, no Aces players have been contacted by the league. The WNBA said in a statement that “the investigation included interviews with 33 people and the review of numerous texts, emails and other documents.”

The WNBA told ESPN that investigators — two former prosecutors, one from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and one from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office — interviewed anyone they thought might have information, including people reported by the Women’s National Basketball Players Association. The league said the Aces were given an opportunity to submit names of people to be interviewed and did not.

“I’ve never had one negative conversation between myself and Dearica Hamby or email,” Hammon said. “First of all, I don’t email my players. I talk to them directly. But we text each other, and anything less than that I can tell you is a lie and it’s not true for anyone in this organization.”

Hammon talked about the possibility of creating false documents. When asked if he thought Hamby did it, Hammon said, “I’m saying I don’t believe anyone in our group sent a nasty text to Dearica Hamby. Hell is going on.”

The Aces released a statement Tuesday in support of Hammon and said they were “deeply disappointed” by the results of the WNBA’s investigation.

Hamby has been with the Aces organization since 2015, when the franchise was based in San Antonio as the Stars. He agreed to a two-year contract extension in June. Hamby was delayed by an injury during the playoffs as Las Vegas won its first WNBA title.

During the Aces tournament, Hamby announced that he is expecting his second child and plans to play in 2023. In January, after being traded to Sparks, he said that he was told that “he is not paying much attention to my training” and that. The staff at Aces told him that “[didn’t] know that” he will be ready to return.

Hamby, after meeting with reporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday, said he was ready to play this season for the Sparks.

The WNBA said it was imposing sanctions on Hammon and the Aces for “violating the team’s agreement and Respect in the Workplace policies.”

“I handled Dearica carefully from the first day when she told me [about the pregnancy]and they know that,” Hammon said.” “When I called that the decision to transfer him had been made, that’s when everything went wrong.”

Asked what the league told him about what he thought was a mistake, Hammon said, “I was asking about her pregnancy in a private conversation with Dearica. That’s what she said.”

A league spokesperson told ESPN that Hammon’s violation included “inappropriate questions that Becky asked Dearica about her pregnancy. We don’t think it would be appropriate to comment further than that.”

Hammon said the Aces traded Hamby because they wanted to add more players and needed to create salary cap space. After the trade, the Aces brought in two WNBA champions Candace Parker and Alysha Clark. They added more Cayla Georgethe Australian center who last played in the WNBA in 2018 but has been very successful in her home league, the WNBL, winning four titles.

“[Hamby’s pregnancy] It wasn’t a problem, and it wasn’t the reason we made the decision,” said Hammon. “We made the decision to move Hamby because we could get three bodies in one of his contracts, and we wanted to get three more people. I think it is very obvious [with] which we signed the reason why we moved.

“It came down to math in business. That’s all it was. Nothing personal. I had a good relationship with Hamby all this time. That’s probably why he felt the way he did. You know, it feels like betrayal. But like I said, it’s an unpleasant part of my job, but someone must be the bearer of bad news.”

Hammon said Wednesday that the Aces’ current players — including the 2022 starters It’s Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray — told him the WNBA had not contacted them to investigate. He said he believes the league has spoken with former Aces center Liz Cambage, who played in Las Vegas in 2019 and 2021, before Hammon became the coach.

However, the WNBA told ESPN on Wednesday that Cambage was not interviewed as part of the investigation.

Hammon said he understands that Hamby is upset and feels sorry for this, but that the accusations against him and the Aces are not true.

“Whatever Dearica saw as trauma … I’m not discounting her feelings,” Hammon said. “I’m sorry he got hurt. My job is to negotiate the tough times. My job is to make the Aces better every year. And sometimes, that’s the hardest part. This decision had everything to do with freeing up money to sign free agents. That’s all it was…. This trade was worth it.” happen to make the Las Vegas Aces better.

“As much as I can sit there and say, ‘This is not how I thought the conversation would go,’ he saw it in a different way. And because of that, I feel bad because I’m not that person. The pain or the depression. Everyone … it’s not just me. It’s not the heart. mine.”

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