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Toronto Raptors reportedly considering being first NBA team to hire female head coach

The Toronto Raptors are reportedly considering making NBA history with a candidate for their head coach opening.

Last week, the Toronto Raptors pulled the trigger on a decision that had been rumored over the last month and ended their relationship with head coach Nick Nurse after five seasons as their head coach.

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After helping lead the team to an NBA championship in his first year on the job, the team has steadily declined in the years since, and things seemed to hit a head when they finished with a record of 41-41 this season and were unable to make the postseason for the second time in three years.

While the Houston Rockets quickly made former Boston Celtics headman Ime Udoka their head coach this week, it seems the Raptors are taking a much more measured approach and are doing their due diligence on any and all realistic head coach candidates.

Toronto Raptors record (’22-’23): 41-41

toronto raptors
Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the contenders for the job, and so far and they include “Golden State’s Kenny Atkinson, Milwaukee’s Charles Lee, Phoenix’s Kevin Young, San Antonio’s Mitch Johnson, Sacramento’s Jordi Fernandez” and several more.

However, one of the more intriguing contenders that the team has received permission to speak with is Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon. The former WNBA star was an assistant on the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff for eight seasons before taking on her current role and leading the Aces to the WNBA title last year. She was also voted “Coach of the Year” in her rookie season with the franchise.

Due to her previous history as a player and years as an assistant, Hammon has developed a highly respected reputation in the NBA and has been linked to contention for other NBA jobs in recent years. However, after winning a championship with the Aces, that possibility seems as realistic as it may ever be.

Obviously, if Hammon were able to secure the job, she would break a massive glass ceiling for female coaches in professional men’s sports and open a huge amount of opportunities for other women.

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