Gregg Popovich is the winningest coach in NBA regular-season historical past, getting his 1,336th victory when the San Antonio Spurs rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 104-102 on Friday night time.
Popovich broke a tie with Don Nelson, the pal and mentor he served as an assistant beneath whereas with Golden State for 2 seasons starting in 1992.
The milestone got here in Popovich’s 2,030th sport and twenty sixth season with the Spurs, the one franchise he has served as head coach for.
Unsurprisingly, the night was met with zero fanfare.
Reward or celebration of any achievement is brusquely deflected or just ignored by Popovich. To listen to Popovich clarify it, he merely exhibits as much as work and rolls the ball onto the court docket.
Nothing might be farther from the reality.
Popovich has received 5 NBA championships, 13 division titles and was lately named one of many 15 best coaches in league historical past. He has coached NBA seventy fifth Anniversary Workforce members David Robinson and Tim Duncan, future Corridor of Fame members Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in addition to journeymen who discovered careers in San Antonio equivalent to Danny Inexperienced and present NBA coaches Steve Kerr, Monty Williams, Ime Udoka and Doc Rivers.
“Gregg Popovich’s success with the Spurs is unprecedented in our league so it’s solely becoming that he now holds the report for many profession wins,” NBA Commissioner Adam Siler mentioned in a press release.
“His management and unwavering dedication to the sport are extensively admired by generations of gamers and coaches alike. Congratulations to Coach Pop on this newest achievement in his legendary profession.”
San Antonio received 50 video games for a league report 18 straight seasons from 2000-2017 beneath Popovich.
The Spurs matched a league report with 22 straight playoff appearances however have missed two straight postseasons since their streak resulted in 2017.
Whereas the glory days appear distant, the 73-year-old Popovich continues plugging alongside.
Popovich joked that teaching Duncan, Parker and Ginobili had grown “boring” as a result of they knew every thing. The present roster is the antithesis of that.
This yr’s staff is the youngest of Popovich’s profession. The Spurs have totally embraced a rebuild expedited by Kawhi Leonard’s pressured departure from San Antonio together with the retirement of the Huge Three.
Dejounte Murray, who has emerged because the staff’s latest star, had 27 factors and 9 rebounds to guide the Spurs previous the Jazz. Murray made two free throws with 4.8 seconds and 1 of two with a second remaining to seal the victory.
Murray’s 17-footer tied the it at 84 with 5:28 remaining to shut an 18-3 run by the Spurs. Lonnie Walker IV made two of three free throws to place San Antonio up 96-95 for its first lead since Josh Richardson’s 15-footer put them forward 5-3 1:31 into the sport.
Donovan Mitchell had 24 factors for Utah, and and Rudy Gobert added 13 factors and 16 rebounds.
Former Spurs ahead Rudy Homosexual pulled Utah to 103-102 on a 3-pointer with 1.0 seconds left.