When a career reaches the length and excellence achieved by Gregg Popovich during his 25 years at the helm of the San Antonio Spurs, one tends to think that it will last forever. The technician’s career is immaculate like few others, but even so, the shadows that affect any figure have been concentrated in his last years. The Spurs have never stopped being a competitive team with him at the helm except for his first season, but every time there is less of the longest-standing dynasty in the contemporary NBA. This, added to the 73 years that Pops already has, have been the source of rumors that pointed to his possible retirement, but that never reached the weight of the recent leaks.
Jake Fischer dedicates his latest article in Bleacher Report fully to this matter. According to the journalist, many people around the league firmly believe that this will be Popovich’s last season. The coach has already left his position as head of the national team after winning Olympic gold in Tokyo last August. Currently, the terms of Popovich’s contract are unknown. The latest official information regarding his contractual situation is the renewal he signed in 2015 for 80 million dollars and four years. What is clear is that his departure will be a unilateral decision.
These rumors have raised the uncertainty about who will be the heir to the Spurs bench. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili’s options were quickly revealed in the slate of names, but neither of them seems willing to take responsibility. They sound louder Will Hardy, current assistant to Ime Udoka in Celtics and former right-hand man of Gregg, and Becky Hammond, eternal candidate for the bench spur.
One of the points on which the rumor has been most supported is the possibility that Popovich will reach the record for total wins in NBA history this year. Right now he has 1,310 wins, just 26 from the top held by Don Nelson.
His current roster may be one of the least talented he has trained in his career, but the San Antonio teacher has not registered fewer than 30 wins in a season since his first NBA season. In 2020-21, he reached 33 wins in just 72 games, so it would be logical to think that he will retire as the coach with the most wins in the history of the league.
(Cover photo by Maddie Malhotra / Getty Images)