LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The WNBA has suspended Aces head coach Becky Hammon for two games without pay and took away the team’s first-round draft pick.
According to the WNBA in a statement, the rescinding of the draft pick is because the team violated league rules regarding impermissible player benefits.
The WNBA announced today that it has rescinded the Las Vegas Aces’ 2025 first-round draft pick for violating league rules regarding impermissible player benefits and suspended Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon for two games without pay for violating league and team Respect in the Workplace policies.WNBA Statement
Due to a prior trade, Las Vegas does not have a 2024 first-round draft pick.
The team violation involved promises of impermissible benefits in connection with negotiations for an extension of then Aces player Dearica Hamby’s player contract. The Respect in the Workplace violation was related to comments made by Hammon to Hamby in connection with Hamby’s recent pregnancy.
After a complaint by Hamby on January 21, 2023, alleging misconduct by the Aces, the league began an investigation. The investigation included interviews with 33 people and a review of numerous texts, emails and other documents. During the course of the investigation, several individuals raised additional concerns about the conduct of the Aces during the most recent free agency period. The investigation was not able to substantiate any of those additional concerns. “It is critical that we uphold the values of integrity and fairness, which create a level playing field for our teams,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. “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.”
Tuesday afternoon the Aces responded to the WNBA’s rulings:
The Las Vegas Aces are deeply disappointed by the outcome of the WNBA investigation. We are committed to supporting all our players to the fullest extent allowed by the WNBA. Our actions have always been consistent with our responsibility to hold ourselves to the highest professional standards, and the facts we presented were consistent with these standards.Las Vegas Aces
The well-being of our players and their families has and will always be at the forefront of who we are.
The WNBA’s determinations about Becky Hammon are inconsistent with what we know and love about her. Becky is a caring human being who forges close personal relationships with her players.
We stand behind Coach Hammon as she continues to lead the Las Vegas Aces.
As expected, the facts did not demonstrate that the Aces violated the salary cap by paying players “under the table” or acted impermissibly during the 2023 free agency period.
We look forward to continuing to support our players, coaches, employees, and the Las Vegas community.