Will Mike Francesa have to put his money where his mouth is?
The WFAN sports talk host made waves this week when he told a caller he believed it would be impossible for a woman to coach a men’s professional team. The caller brought up San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon as a possible contender, but Francesa dismissed the idea she could be offered a head coaching job in the NBA.
One columnist is hoping to make Francesa pay for those words.
Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal believes Hammon, who also played for the New York Liberty, is qualified for the position and thinks she will find a head coaching job sooner than later. To prove it, Gay writes he will bet Francesa $1,000 for charity that Hammon becomes an NBA head coach within the next five years.
“Deadline: March 3, 2022. One thousand bucks—my money, not the Journal’s—to the charity of Francesa’s choice,” Gay writes. “If the Sports Pope wants to take me up on it, I’m not hard to find.”
The columnist laid out a few reasons why he thinks Hammon will break through, including her basketball pedigree, the league’s progressive hiring tradition and other teams’ desire to replicate San Antonio’s success.
“A lot of teams want to reproduce the Spurs’s selfless culture of winning, and Hammon is getting a master class from one of the greatest ever. I think Francesa is wrong. I think Hammon has an excellent shot.”
Gay told Newsday via email Friday night he has not yet heard from Francesa, but “the offer very much stands!”