NBA news: Coach Gregg Popovich Mixes Toughness, Spirit to make History with San Antonio Spurs.
Gregg Popovich put small-town San Antonio on the map by leading the Spurs to five NBA championships with grit and grumpiness that couldn’t hide a generous spirit. He has to make NBA news now.
When the Spurs beat visiting Utah 104-102 on Friday, “Coach Pop” became the first coach in NBA history to win 1,336 regular-season games, surpassing the legendary Don Nelson.
That Popovich, who had already surpassed the 1,500-win mark in the NBA. For years, it has been evident that if the regular season and playoffs are combined, the team will surpass the milestone. It’s another matter how much weight he places on it.
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“This is the most important thing in my life – I can take my grandchildren hiking”. “When a reporter asked him about it, he deadpanned. “I’m thinking about what I could do with my retirement.” What kind of wine would I be able to consume? When I consider how many successes I’ve had, all of these things become mundane.”
Popovich’s snark is classic. He injects comedy into his occasionally scathing criticisms of everyone from players to game officials, league executives, and politicians, not to mention himself. However, his low-key delivery sometimes makes it difficult to understand the humor.
NBA news: The sarcasm is classic Popovich
“I think people who don’t have self-deprecation. Who doesn’t appreciate hilarious moments? Won’t be able to give their best for a group”. He remarked in 2015.
In 1996, Popovich took over the Spurs and turned them into a championship-winning machine, winning titles in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. He led the Spurs to the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season and was voted NBA Coach of the Year three times.
His most recent championship may have been the sweetest, as the Spurs avenged a heartbreaking loss to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the 2013 final.
That was also the Spurs’ Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili’s final championship. Seven years after their fourth, which many anticipated would be their final.
Popovich was able to get the best out of three very different players, finding a kindred spirit in Duncan, allowing Ginobili to thrive, and shaping Parker, drafted at 19, into an NBA legend.
“I took a couple of guys to one of his first sessions to get in his face”. He says “Parker, Popovich remembered. “I was curious to see what he had in his stomach.”
He made an impression on me. ‘The ball is yours, find solutions. And I’ll adore you and rage at you at the same time. I told him. That’s how it went down.”
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