The WNBA has taken disciplinary action against the Las Vegas Aces, rescinding their 2025 first-round draft pick and suspending head coach Becky Hammon for two games. The decision comes after an investigation revealed that the franchise had violated league rules related to impermissible player benefits and workplace policies. This article will delve into the investigation details, the penalties imposed, and the reactions from the Aces, Becky Hammon, and the WNBA Players Association.
Becky Hammon Suspension
The WNBA investigation concluded on Tuesday that the Las Vegas Aces had made promises of impermissible benefits during contract extension negotiations involving former player Dearica Hamby. This violation of league rules was considered a severe offense. Additionally, the investigation revealed that head coach Becky Hammon had made inappropriate comments to Hamby concerning her pregnancy, constituting a Respect in the Workplace violation.
As a result of the violations uncovered during the investigation, the WNBA took action against the Las Vegas Aces. The team’s 2025 first-round draft pick was rescinded, meaning they will not have the opportunity to select a player in the first round of that year’s draft.
Furthermore, head coach Becky Hammon was suspended for two games. These penalties serve as a strong message from the league regarding the importance of upholding its rules and maintaining a respectful workplace environment.
Following the announcement of the penalties, the Las Vegas Aces expressed their deep disappointment with the outcome of the investigation. They emphasized their commitment to supporting all players within the bounds of the WNBA’s regulations.
The Aces maintained that their actions had always been in line with high professional standards and that the facts they presented during the investigation were consistent with those standards. The team stood behind head coach Becky Hammon, praising her caring nature and close personal relationships with her players.
WNBA Players Association’s Reaction
The WNBA Players Association (WNBPA) stated in response to the league’s ruling, asserting that it missed the mark. The WNBPA questioned whether the decision adequately addressed the importance of respect in the workplace and preserving a player’s dignity.
They argued that while penalties for misconduct should be imposed, removing a future draft pick penalizes potential players by depriving them of the opportunity to compete for a job. The WNBPA pledged its support to Dearica Hamby as she considered the WNBA’s decision and explored all available remedies.
Allegations Made Public
Dearica Hamby, who was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks during the offseason, took to social media to make allegations against her former organization. In an Instagram post, she claimed that she had been treated in an unprofessional and unethical manner, which had been particularly traumatizing due to her pregnancy.
While she did not initially name the individual responsible for the alleged disparaging comments, the investigation was launched to examine her claims and allegations of salary cap circumvention. However, the league determined no substantiation for those specific allegations.
Also, read Breaking Boundaries: The Rise Of Sheer Wedding Dresses
Dearica Hamby, speaking to reporters in Los Angeles after the WNBA’s decision, expressed her desire to focus on the present and move forward. She emphasized her health and happiness and the well-being of her son.
Despite the topic’s sensitive nature, Hamby stated that she would be playing basketball in the upcoming season. She also mentioned her daughter’s initial concerns about the situation, highlighting that they were now enjoying their time in Los Angeles and looking ahead to the future. Hamby and the WNBPA intend to explore further options in response to the WNBA.