San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Unsure if He will Coach Next Season
We may finally be seeing the end of an era.
Gregg Popovich will soon join Bill Bertka, Hubie Brown and Larry Brown as the fourth 70-year-old coach in NBA history, but he remains undecided about coaching the Spurs beyond this season. He is in the last season of a five-year contract extension he signed after the Spurs won their most recent championship in 2014.
“I don’t know the answer,” Popovich said when asked about his plans for next season in an interview with Marc Stein a couple of months ago.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 17, 2019
Popovich said he and Spurs longtime team president, R.C. Buford have periodically discussed the club’s various options after this season. “He’ll coach as long as he wants to coach,” Buford said.
Whether or not he stays with the Spurs, Popovich has committed to spending the next two summers coaching the U.S.A. men’s national basketball team, at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Among the challenges Popovich would face next season, should he elect to keep coaching the Spurs, is a turnaround of only two weeks between the end of the World Cup on Sept. 15 and the start of NBA training camps.
The Spurs underwent significant change this summer, trading finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to Toronto, veteran point guard Tony Parker signing with the Hornets and Manu Ginobili retiring.
Popovich has kept San Antonio afloat despite the turnover, and with some calling it the most impressive coaching display of his career, the Spurs are seventh in the West at 34-29, as they seek their record 22nd consecutive playoff appearance.
One of just five NBA coaches in history to win at least five championships, Popovich recently moved into third place in all-time coaching wins, behind Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkins. With nothing left to prove in his Hall Of Fame career, should he choose to retire, it will close the best chapter in Spurs’ history.