A few days ago, Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs officially saw their participation at the NBA restart end. After the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies each won games ahead of the Spurs, their game against the Jazz became meaningless as far as play-in spots or playoffs. Now the team has returned home, and it appears the Spurs rumors are swirling about one team planning to try their best to get Pop as their new coach.
Spurs Rumors Suggest Nets Will Pursue Popovich
Just over a month ago, we reported about rumors of the Brooklyn Nets planning to make a Godfather offer to Gregg Popovich. That would basically be an offer he’d be unable to refuse to take over as the team’s next head coach. Those rumors sort of took a backseat to the NBA restart, with the Spurs and Nets involved in the bubble situation.
Now that San Antonio is done, the Spurs rumors are back with regards to Pop and the Brooklyn Nets. Per the LA Times’ Dan Woike, sources familiar with both the Spurs and Nets are expecting Brooklyn to make their best attempt to land the longest-tenured coach in the league. However, it’s also expected that Brooklyn will be unsuccessful in their attempt due to Pop’s strong connection with San Antonio.
Right now, the Nets have interim head coach Jacque Vaughn who took over when Kenny Atkinson resigned back in March. Vaughn was a former player for the San Antonio Spurs from 2006 through 2009, and a former assistant coach under Gregg Popovich from 2010 through 2012.
Popovich already made comments about returning to coach the Spurs next season. He praised his team for what they were able to do at the bubble in terms of player development. However, there’s always a possibility he could want to take on new challenges with a new team.
Phil Jackson left as coach of the Chicago Bulls and eventually resurfaced to coach the talented Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal to three titles. Could Popovich do the same, or is he going to keep his legacy strictly with San Antonio?
Popovich Would Coach Talented All-Stars in Brooklyn
While most analysts and fans don’t expect the Brooklyn Nets to lure Gregg Popovich to their sidelines as head coach, the possibilities are certainly intriguing. If Pop were to leave San Antonio for Brooklyn, he’d take over a squad with two All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, ready to take the court in search of another NBA title.
Popovich has worked with them before at Team USA events so the familiarity is there. There’s also Pop’s reputation as a legend of coaching, so KD and Irving would probably have no issues working under him.
Not only that, but the team has other talents including DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Caris LeVert, as well as the potential to attract more star players if Popovich is the head coach. It could become an attractive situation for key free agents in the future.
The team is currently part of the NBA Playoffs at the bubble in Orlando and will face the Toronto Raptors in the first round. However, Irving, Durant, Jordan, and Dinwiddie are all absent due to injury recovery or other situations. Not many people expect this Nets team to get too far and that makes sense. Just imagine them at full strength, though.
In addition to Popovich being named as a candidate for the Brooklyn Nets job, there are some other experienced coaches rumored to be in the mix. Not only is current interim coach Jacque Vaughn a candidate to take over as head coach, but other names include Jeff Van Gundy, Tyronn Lue, and Jason Kidd. See more team and player updates at our Spurs news page.