After sharing a hug with Jazz Coach Quin Snyder and Jazz ahead Rudy Gay, each former members of the Spurs, Popovich was briefly mobbed by his younger group. The 73-year-old teaching legend, lengthy recognized for deflecting credit score to his gamers, then made a rapid beeline for the locker room.
“Something like this does not belong to one individual,” Popovich stated. “Basketball is a team sport. You preach to your players that you have to do it together. That’s certainly been the case in my life with all the wonderful players and coaches and staff that I’ve been blessed with. The support of this wonderful city. The fans support us no matter what. All of us share in this record. It’s not mine. It’s ours. That’s the joy of it.”
Later, throughout a jubilant locker room celebration, Popovich was offered the sport ball by all-star guard Dejounte Murray after which doused with water.
“Before we go home, we’ve got to celebrate the most wins by a coach in NBA history,” Murray stated. “Coach Pop, you deserve it. We all love you and we’re glad we’re here to be able to enjoy this moment with you.”
Popovich, who secured his first NBA victory on Dec. 14, 1996, greater than 25 years in the past, reached his milestone victory in his 2,030th profession sport. His profession file throughout 26 seasons now stands at 1,336-694 (.658).
By comparability, Nelson compiled a 1,335-1,063 (.557) file throughout 31 seasons teaching the Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks. Before Popovich took over as coach of the Spurs, he served as an assistant for 2 years beneath Nelson in Golden State. Nelson had held the NBA’s teaching wins file since he handed Lenny Wilkins in 2010.
“I just want to tell you how proud I am of all your accomplishments and the wonderful things you’ve done for basketball worldwide,” Nelson informed Popovich in a recorded video assertion. “But I’m most proud of what you’re about to accomplish now, which is to put me in second place for all-time wins. I’m so proud of you for doing it and I couldn’t wait for this day to happen. As one of my best friends in life, I just wish you the best for your remaining years in the NBA.”
Popovich has spent everything of his NBA head teaching profession with the Spurs, claiming three coach of the yr awards and guiding 5 championship groups led by stars resembling David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginóbili and Kawhi Leonard. San Antonio was synonymous with constant excellence all through most of Popovich’s reign, making 22 consecutive playoff appearances and profitable no less than 50 video games in 18 consecutive seasons.
“Gregg Popovich’s success with the Spurs is unprecedented in our league so it’s only fitting that he now holds the record for most career wins,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in an announcement. “His leadership and unwavering commitment to the game are widely admired by generations of players and coaches alike. Congratulations to Coach Pop on this latest achievement in his legendary career.”
Popovich started his teaching profession in 1973 as an assistant on the Air Force Academy, with subsequent stops at Pomona-Pitzer and Kansas. He then joined the Spurs in 1988, serving as an assistant beneath Larry Brown.
In addition to his common season wins file, Popovich ranks third with 170 postseason victories, trailing solely Phil Jackson (229) and Pat Riley (171). Popovich’s 5 titles are tied for third all-time behind Jackson (11) and Red Auerbach (9).
For years, Popovich joked that he owed all of his achievements to Duncan and pledged to step away from the bench when the 15-time all-star huge man determined to retire. But when Duncan known as it quits in 2016, Popovich opted to hold on, ultimately hiring the Hall of Fame huge man as an assistant coach in 2019.
Rumors have swirled lately about Popovich’s potential retirement on condition that the Spurs are in rebuilding mode, however he has given no indication of his plans. San Antonio (26-41) holds the Western Conference’s eleventh seed getting into Saturday and stays in competition for a spot within the play-in event.
The Spurs introduced Friday that they might acknowledge Popovich’s file by auctioning a set of 1,336 non-fungible tokens that embody hand-drawn performs and court docket designs, with proceeds going to the San Antonio Food Bank.
Philadelphia 76ers Coach Doc Rivers ranks second to Popovich amongst lively coaches — and tenth general — with 1,032 wins. Rivers, 60, is 13 years youthful than Popovich and will mount a severe problem to the all-time wins file.