During his long tenure as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich has achieved a status that is nothing short of legendary. Nevertheless, Pop is 73 years old. At some point soon, retirement is on the horizon. Indeed, there has been chatter about his imminent likely departure for years now. Naturally, there are also fairly frequent rumors about who will replace him. The latest reports suggest that it could be Quin Snyder, head coach of the Utah Jazz.
Reporter Marc Stein Believes Quin Snyder is a “Potential Pop Successor”
Deseret News references the source of these rumors as NBA reporter Marc Stein. Reportedly, Stein has stated that he expects Pop to remain as head coach of the Spurs for another season, after which it is possible that Quin Snyder may replace him.
Stein added regarding the one year timeframe, “yet I reserve the right to change that answer if Utah’s Quin Snyder becomes unexpectedly available.” In other words, if Snyder should happen to be available to take over next season, we might be watching Pop’s final season right now. Stein also said that he has been hearing that Snyder is “a potential Pop successor that the Spurs would naturally relish.”
It would be quite intuitive for Snyder to move to San Antonio after Pop departs. In fact, he was head coach of the G League’s Austin Toros from 2007-2010. At the time, it was referred to as the D-League.
How much weight should we put on this rumor? Well, Marc Stein is a solid source. It is worth taking anything he says seriously. But a rumor is still just a rumor. There are no guarantees that Snyder would be able to replace Pop.
Reporter Sam Quinn at CBS Sports says, “Of course, Snyder is currently under contract with the Jazz, and the traits that make him such a desirable candidate are the traits that will likely keep him in Utah. Snyder has won over 58 percent of his games with the Jazz and currently leads a contending Utah roster. If the Jazz don’t want to let him go, they won’t have to.”
And that said, why would the Jazz want to let Quinn go? The CBS Sports article speculates that this could happen if “the Jazz are knocked out early again this season.” But others would contend that a move like this does not really fit within the Jazz style. However frustrating such a situation might be, the Jazz would favor stability moving forward.
A lot of previous rumors for Pop’s replacement revolved around Becky Hammon. But she recently became head coach of the Las Vegas Aces.
Pop’s Legacy Will Shine On
It is interesting that the latest rumors revolve around Snyder, considering that this is not the only big story right now involving the Spurs and the Jazz. On Friday, March 11th, the Spurs beat the Jazz, 104-102. It was an intense game for a hard-won victory, featuring a startling comeback in the last 10 minutes of the game. It was not just a victory for the team, but also for Pop, since it became his 1,336th win since he became a head coach in the NBA. That is the most regular season wins by an NBA coach in history.
Among Pop’s other achievements are three Coach of the Year awards and five NBA titles. Additionally, Pop has revolutionized the entire sport with his winning techniques, changing the way NBA basketball is played. It is hard to imagine the Spurs without him. But the impact he leaves behind will continue to impact Spurs basketball for many years to come. So, even after his tenure ends, Pop will always be a part of the Spurs legacy.