Just recently, the Spurs great head coach Gregg Popovich passed Lenny Wilkens as the number two in most wins by a head coach in the regular season. The record-breaking game was in a battle between two Texas teams, the Spurs and the Thunder.
“Well, I’m happy for them (Spurs players),” Coach Pop said. “This was a long road trip, and the last game of that trip is tough. Everybody wants to go home. So I thought they hung in there pretty good and did a good job against a really well-coached, aggressive OKC team.” (Popovich during a post-game interview)
With his 1,333rd regular-season win, he is now second on the winningest coach list and is just 3 games shy from being number one. Don Nelson currently holds the first spot at 1,335 victories. It wouldn’t be long until Pop reaches this milestone in his career.
The Spur’s head coach is only one of six coaches in NBA history with at least 2000 games in 26 seasons. He holds the best win percentage in this category, an impressive 65.9%. Now that is winning!
Popovich became the Spurs head coach back in 1997.
The Spurs organization was questioned and criticized when they hired Pop back in the day. His first season was a disappointment, having a record of 20-62 (second-worst in the league).
But, in the following season, the Spurs acquired a future superstar in Tim Duncan as their first draft pick in 1997. David Robinson also came back in that season, leading San Antonio to another playoff run. The Spurs were a dominant team in the West. Together with Pop, they made the playoffs for 22 straight years (1998-2020). They also won 5 chips with Popovich’s leadership.
The system Gregg Popovich made for the Spurs was extremely effective during the Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker era. They were constantly dominating the league and winning games.
Gregg Popovich was also a three-time Coach of the Year awardee, 5-time NBA Champion, and coached the American Men’s basketball team who won Gold in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. To add, Pop was also named as one of the 15 Greatest Coaches in NBA History.
This season, the Spurs are currently in the 11th seed.
Though as great as Pop is, the Spurs are unlikely to make the playoff once again. Popovich is already a Hall-of-Famer coach and is up there as one of the best. The greatness he holds under his name is unimaginable and unfathomable. One of the best to ever step on the floor as a coach.
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