Las Vegas Aces Becky Hammon

New FSM Feature: The WNBA Punishes The Las Vegas Aces

The Las Vegas Aces received punishment on Tuesday concerning Dearica Hamby’s exit and cap circumvention

Franchise Sports Media


The WNBA stripped the Las Vegas Aces of their 2025 first-round draft pick and suspended their head coach Becky Hammon for two games after discovering that the franchise violated the league’s rules on player benefits and workplace policies.

The WNBA Punished The Las Vegas Aces for workplace violations. 

Las Vegas Aces Dearica Hamby
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

According to the league, the team violated promises of benefits during contract extension negotiations with former Aces player Dearica Hamby. The Respect in the Workplace violation came from comments Hammon made to Hamby concerning the latter’s pregnancy.

However, the WNBA players’ union said the penalties were “far from appropriate.”

Where in this decision does this team or any other team across the League learn the lesson that respect in the workplace is the highest standard and a player’s dignity cannot be manipulated?” The WNBA Players Association said. “Incidents of misconduct by a team staff cannot always be compared, but recent penalties imposed by the League, and an honest view of the facts, demonstrate that this penalty is far from appropriate. While taking away a future draft pick is significant and had never been done in the League’s history, it penalizes a future player by removing an opportunity to compete for a job.”

Hamby, who was traded this past offseason to the Los Angeles Sparks, went public in an Instagram post where she accused her former organization of treating her in an “unprofessional and unethical way that has been traumatizing” due to her pregnancy. However, at the time, she did not say which member of the organization made the disparaging comments.

Hamby said her commitment to the team was also questioned, even though she pushed herself to work out during her pregnancy when it was “uncomfortable to walk.” Hamby won the league’s Sixth Woman of the Year Award in 2019 and 2020. Hamby was also an All-Star for the second time in her career last season.

The WNBA took away the Las Vegas Aces 2025 1st-round draft pick. 

The league investigated Hamby’s claims, as well as allegations of salary cap circumvention that came out shortly after.

The WNBA suspended the Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon two games. 

Las Vegas Aces Becky Hammon
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The WNBA’s investigation included interviews with over 30 people and a review of texts, emails, and other documents.

It is critical that we uphold the values of integrity and fairness, which create a level playing field for our teams,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement. “The Aces failed to adhere to league rules and regulations and have been disciplined accordingly. We are also disheartened by the violation of our Respect in the Workplace policies and remain committed to ensuring that enhanced training is conducted and standards are followed across all WNBA teams.”

Hammon’s two-game suspension is without pay, and the league did not announce a fine. This could be considered a lazy punishment considering in May 2021, Curt Miller, the then coach of the Connecticut Sun, was fined $10,000 and suspended for one game for a body-shaming comment he made about the weight of center Liz Cambage. Miller now coaches the Sparks.

Hammon played in the WNBA for 16 seasons and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame last year during her first season with the Aces. She spent eight seasons as an assistant coach with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and was the first woman to be a full-time assistant in the history of the NBA. Ace’s owner Mark Davis used her hiring as an inspirational moment for all women because the team would pay her over $1 million, more than any other coach in the league.

The Las Vegas Aces are the defending WNBA champions. 

The Aces take a sizable blow with this decision. Hammon’s two-game suspension isn’t the end of the world. However, with them losing their 2025 first-round pick, they find themselves treading rough waters, as they also don’t have a 2024 first-round selection because of a prior trade.

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jake on Twitter & IG – @JGuchi


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