Don’t anticipate Gregg Popovich to go the Mike Krzyzewski retirement ceremony route

A media-driven farewell retirement tour isn’t Gregg Popovich’s style.

A media-driven farewell retirement tour isn’t Gregg Popovich’s fashion.
Picture: Getty Pictures

Going out to dinner with Gregg Popovich is up there with {golfing} with Charles Barkley, playing with Michael Jordan, watching soccer with John Madden, and speaking shit with Gary Payton on the checklist of actions with sports activities figures that sound like enjoyable. As superior nearly as good meals and higher wine with Coach Pop sounds, I feel 18 with Chuck, a cigar, and a few grownup drinks is No. 1.

Nonetheless, an inventory that Pop is quickly to be indisputably atop of is most profession wins by an NBA head coach. The Spurs continued the Lakers’ spiral, beating LA 117-110 on Monday, and clinched win No. 1,335 for the 26-year coach. He’s tied with Don Nelson, who wanted 31 seasons and 4 totally different groups to succeed in that complete, for many wins. Yet another San Antonio W, the one type of victory he’s ever recognized, is all that’s wanted to place Pop in uncharted territory.

The five-time NBA champion and three-time coach of the yr will likely be a Corridor of Famer every time he’s eligible, and if the Basketball Corridor of Fame did actual Hall of Fame things, like having a variety course of that included the doable distinction of being a unanimous alternative, Popovich would absolutely earn that honor, as properly. And so long as we’re speaking about hypothetical accomplishments, if there was a training Mount Rushmore for America’s 4 main professional sports activities, he would most likely be on that, too. (Phil Jackson sleeping/fishing via his Knicks’ tenure stopped chisels earlier than they even obtained began.)

There are rumors he could retire after this season, which might be comprehensible as a result of he’s the oldest lively NBA coach, but in addition a little bit saddening as a result of he’s probably the most sincere pre-, post-, and mid-game interview — even when he’s fairly fucking surly whereas doing them. A part of it’s no-nonsense schtick, and a part of it’s a disregard for media narratives.

He could attempt to come off as a Ron Swanson “I don’t have time for emotions” sort, however actual human feelings have seeped via that facade. His relationship with longtime and now-deceased TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager was one of the crucial real friendships you’ll see, as evidenced by the best way the Air Power veteran embraced the Sager family during Craig’s battle with cancer.

There even have been a plethora of stories conferences the place he’s been a vocal voice of cause on quite a few matters unrelated to basketball, together with mask mandates, Donald Trump, police killing Black people, the Second Amendment, and so forth. He referred to as former Vice President Mike Pence “an obsequious man” in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riots, saying “We all know it most likely received’t occur,” referring to a possible use of the twenty fifth Modification, which permits the vice chairman to find out that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his workplace.”

I’d really feel silly going out to eat with him as a result of I’d be met with a clean glare after going all Chris Farley present and asking him, “Keep in mind that time you beat the Miami Warmth within the Finals? That was superior.” (Perhaps it was Pop’s style in Pinot and steakhouses that led to Kawhi Leonard’s departure as a result of it couldn’t have been his dialog.)

The Spurs coach has by no means had time for the bullshit, and that’s why he hates your “Talk about…” non-question questions. It’s additionally why it makes complete sense that this might be his final yr on the job.

I wouldn’t be stunned if he, like the very best participant he ever coached, Tim Duncan, quietly announced his retirement via a team statement over the summer. The farewell ceremonies and goodbye presents are higher fitted to somebody who would get pleasure from them. Are you able to think about him participating within the histrionics of Coach K’s final season? One thing tells me he’d simply roll his eyes and inform the refs to leap the ball up after being gifted a rocking chair or some not-that-clever commemoration, like a piece of a court.

The one followers he cares about are in San Antonio, they usually’ll get their likelihood to offer him a worthy send-off subsequent season once they honor him with a ceremony at half-time — or quietly announce he’s in attendance, whichever he prefers. (Do groups retire quarter-zip pullovers to the rafters?)

He’s received titles and gold medals. His .658 win share is sixth all time amongst coaches with greater than three seasons (via SportingNews). He took the Spurs to the playoffs 22 years straight. He’s about to have extra wins than anybody who’s ever manned the sidelines within the NBA.

The one factor left to do is ensure that he leaves San Antonio higher off than he discovered it, and no matter what you concentrate on Dejounte Murray or Lonnie Walker, the group is healthier off for having him.

The identical goes for the NBA.

See also  Surging Yanks look to ride Jasson Dominguez to 6th straight win

Leave a Reply