San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as not only one of today’s best NBA head coaches, but as one of the best coaches of all time. Popovich has compiled a career record of 1145-501, which gives him a 69%-win pct. Remarkably over the course of his 21-year career he’s only had one losing season, which happened to be his first season in San Antonio, that also led to the team landing arguably the best PF of all time Tim Duncan.
Now let’s fast forward to present day, where Popovich and his Spurs are sitting second in the NBAs Western Conference directly behind the widely considered “super team” in Golden State. The Spurs have Kawhi Leonard as the face of their franchise but outside of that Popovich is sending out, 34-year-old Tony Parker, 39-year-old Manu Ginobli, 36-year-old- Pau Gasol, and other tested veterans every night. On paper, this Spurs team shouldn’t be sitting only two games out of from the top seed in the western conference with still one head to head matchup with Golden State left to play this coming week.
The excellence behind the man many refer to as “Pop”, is he continues to win with veterans that he’s came up with since taking over in San Antonio, and continues to be in position to win championships. Outside of Lamarcus Aldridge joining the Spurs two summers ago, they’ve never added the Kevin Durant that Golden State added, or flashback to 2010 when Miami struck gold with Lebron, the Spurs continued to dominate with what is refered to as the “Spurs way”. By grabbing fairly unknown European talent in, Davis Bertans, to turning guys with very limited skill sets, like Kyle Anderson, into contributors for a title contender.
The reality is Popovich isn’t receiving the respect and praise that he deserves and we should all be at fault collectively. I think as basketball fans we’ve grown accustomed to the Spurs always being a 55-60-win team and competing into late May and early June every year. It’s almost became the norm for the Spurs, so fans don’t appreciate what Popovich continues to do, mainly because they’re so used to seeing the same script being wrote every year.
NBA fans need to sit back and evaluate the body of work from Popovich and his San Antonio Spurs who over the course of his career has only won coach of the year three times (02/03, 11/12, 13/14). This man is a five time NBA champion head coach, and his team his built organically, rather than his fiercest enemy the Golden State Warriors who went out and added a top 3 talent in the league this offseason. The Spurs continue to do things their own way, and the league still hasn’t caught up after 21 seasons. Gregg Popovich deserves to be in the forefront of Coach of the Year voting for the 2016-2017 NBA season.
'Playing the right way' means playing unselfishly, playing hard and fulfilling your role – Gregg Popovich pic.twitter.com/DeFHVjhgzP— Daniel Makepeace (@PureIntensityBB) March 17, 2017
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