Becky Hammon being interviewed by ESPN Photo credit: ESPN2

In-game interviews with a coach or player can certainly be informative for the viewer, but ESPN’s spot with Becky Hammon Tuesday night definitely was not that.

The Las Vegas Aces played their home opener against the Phoenix Mercury Tuesday night on ESPN2. At the start of the fourth quarter, broadcasters Tiffany Greene and Debbie Antonelli welcomed Hammon onto the broadcast for a quick interview. A very quick interview.

It began fine, with Hammon, in her third season with the Aces, explaining what she told her team in the huddle as they entered the fourth quarter with a six-point lead. But then they asked Hammon a second question, and it quickly became clear that it was one too many.

After being asked about her team’s offensive rhythm, Hammon responded with a look of bewilderment and five seconds of silence. In Hammon’s defense, the question was met with an untimely foul call sending Mercury guard Diana Taurasi to the free throw line.

Recognizing the Aces head coach wasn’t about to jump back into the interview, Greene ended the awkward silence by shrewdly giving Hammon the out that it was too loud in the arena.

“It’s very loud in here, we appreciate the time, coach,” Greene said before getting a hand wave from Hammon. “It’s hard to hear in here.”

It may have been hard to hear in there, but that wasn’t the reason Hammon checked out of the interview. Hammon checked out of the interview because she didn’t like the foul on Taurasi and her coaching duties usurped any in-game media obligations.

The risk reward for in-game interviews probably isn’t too favorable, with players and coaches unlikely to give up any groundbreaking information even when they’re engaged with the broadcast. For every in-game interview that goes smoothly, there are others that flop or end awkwardly. Perhaps none worse than ESPN’s Karl Ravech asking Triston Casas to talk about the importance of Mother’s Day considering his mother died when he was young. Hammon’s interview was good for a chuckle, and certainly didn’t reach Ravech-levels of awkward, but it still didn’t go the way ESPN intended.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to