The newest San Antonio Spurs rumors circulating online suggest that the Brooklyn Nets want a major coaching upgrade and it could mean Gregg Popovich. The Nets are a team looking towards the future with stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. They also realize that the right coach could help them success. Coach Pop has the winning pedigree they need if they want multiple championships.
Spurs Rumors Set Off by Sports Personality
Most NBA teams that don’t already have a veteran coach in place might love to have Gregg Popovich take over their team. That’s probably true of the Brooklyn Nets who are looking to find the right person to fill their head coaching spot. Former Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn has been the interim head coach with the Nets ever since they parted ways with Kenny Atkinson this season.
The Spurs rumors apparently popped up some time ago thanks to ESPN personality and journalist Stephen A. Smith on First Take. He mentioned Gregg Popovich’s name amongst several candidates for the Nets job. Smith also brought up former NBA head coach/current commentator Mark Jackson, as well as former Cleveland Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.
They talked about it further on Let’s Get Technical podcast as Gerald Brown brought up the rumors, saying it’s believed the Nets would make a “Godfather offer” to Popovich. Basically, that’s an offer he’d be unable to refuse.
As Gerald Brown says in the recent podcast episode, “I’m not really buying it,” before tossing the topic to the rest of the podcast speakers.
Amin Elhassan added, “anyone can make an offer..the reality is if he accepts.”
“I think he’ll probably say no..he’s comfortable, he’s very well compensated in San Antonio, and the last part is, he’s old man…He’s going to come and try to fix a whole new organization from the bottom up? Probably not.”
Would Pop Seek Out a New NBA Challenge?
Elhassan’s comments make sense, although one could also view it similar to Phil Jackson. Years after Jackson guided Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to three-straight NBA titles, he became head coach of the Lakers, with a new group of stars. Jackson ended up at the helm as they won three behind stars Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
However, the age factor could play a major part in Popovich’s decisions. He may simply decide he’d prefer to no longer coach in the capacity he has been with the Spurs for over two decades now.
Prior to becoming San Antonio’s head coach, Popovich was an assistant coach with both the Spurs and Golden State Warriors. In addition, he’s been the head coach for USA basketball since 2015. At some point, he will simply like to enjoy the retired life, watching from the sidelines.
Nets’ GM Weighs in on Speculation
While the suggestion of Pop taking over at the helm of the Nets may have excited Brooklyn’s fanbase, it seems to have been shut down, for now. Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks was on WFAN’s Joe & Evan on Friday and commented on the speculation.
According to USA Today, Marks said during his appearance on the show:
“Pop has a job. So I will say that. And, obviously, we all know he’s an amazing, amazing coach — and to be quite frank, an even better leader. So I’ll let Pop continue to coach for the Spurs. He owes it to them and they owe it to him. I’m sure he’s quite happy there.”
Popovich has been a fixture with the Spurs, working as their head coach since 1996. During that tenure, he’s guided them to five NBA championships and has shown a coaching ability that seems unmatched. His Spurs have also never finished worse than third place in their division since the 1997-98 season, and have made it to the playoffs 22-straight times under Pop.
The San Antonio Spurs are amongst teams competing for a Western Conference playoff seed at the Orlando bubble site later this month. Right now, they’re considered long shots to get that spot, but having Coach Popovich leading any group of players with Spurs jerseys on seems to give them a better chance at winning than most.
For now, it appears those Spurs rumors are crushed. Still, a serious offer might be tempting too. While it seems like Pop is content guiding San Antonio right now, one has to wonder if he may ever decide to try his skills in guiding another team to success. Visit our Spurs news page to get more of the latest team and player updates.