The WNBA announced penalties against the Las Vegas Aces and head coach Becky Hammon on Tuesday for violations pertaining to impermissible player benefits and league Respect in the Workplace policies. The Aces have been stripped of their first-round pick for the 2025 WNBA Draft and Hammon has been suspended for two games without pay.
This comes as the result of a January complaint filed by former Aces and current Los Angeles Sparks forward Dearica Hamby, alleging misconduct in regards to contract negotiations over an extension with the team. The league investigation determined that the Aces had promised impermissible benefits as part of the negotiations and the team was docked its 2025 first-rounder as punishment (the team does not own a first-round pick in 2024 due to a prior trade). The investigation also determined that during these negotiations, Hammon had made comments about Hamby’s recent pregnancy, a violation of both team and league Respect in the Workplace policies.
The 2023 WNBA season is set to tip off this weekend and the reigning champion Aces enters the new year favored to defend their title. They will open the season this Saturday at the Seattle Storm before traveling to Los Angeles for a showdown with the Sparks next Thursday. It is presumed that those two games will be the ones Hammon will miss due to her suspension.