Featured in this article:
  • Will Popovich's tenure come to an end with the Spurs’ 113-103 loss in a play-in tournament game?
  • Popovich at -110 to retire before the start of the 2022-23 NBA season
  • Popovich is currently the oldest coach in NBA history at 73

3 Minute Read

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich () in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The San Antonio Spurs may be in the market for a head coach.

The longest-tenured head coach in the four major American professional sports leagues is the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, a sure-fire eventual Hall of Famer.

Popovich became San Antonio’s general manager in 1994 and decided to hire himself as head coach to replace Bob Hill in 1996. Pop has been with the Spurs ever since, winning five NBA titles. He is one of only eight coaches in U.S. major pro sports history to spend their entire head coaching career and at least 25 years with one team.

Might Pop’s tenure has come to an end with the Spurs’ 113-103 loss in New Orleans in a Western Conference play-in tournament game? Oddsmakers list Popovich at -110 to retire before the start of the 2022-23 NBA season in October and -130 to keep coaching.

What More To Prove?

Gregg Popovich,Tre Jones

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with guard Tre Jones during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Popovich is notoriously standoffish with the media and when asked about his coaching future following that season-ending loss, he simply said: “That question is inappropriate.” At 73 years old, he is the oldest coach in NBA history but health apparently is not an issue.

He could decide to step aside now because the Spurs are miles/years from returning to NBA title contention and they have one of the youngest rosters in the NBA. After leading San Antonio to the playoffs for an incredible 22 straight seasons, the Spurs have finished with a losing record for the past three (the play-in tournament isn’t considered the playoffs).

This past season, Popovich passed Don Nelson as the winningest coach in league history. Phil Jackson and Pat Riley are the only coaches with more playoff wins than Popovich’s 170. Pop’s five titles are third-most behind Jackson and Red Auerbach.

And yet another reason this could be it for Popovich is in the summer of 2021, he added winning an Olympic gold medal to his resume as the head coach of Team USA in Japan. Very few coaches have won an NBA title and a gold medal.

Two NBA coaches with former Spurs ties have been linked to the San Antonio job if Popovich steps down – and we assure that he’s going to personally pick his replacement: Utah’s Quin Snyder and Celtics assistant Will Hardy. Former Spurs assistant Becky Hammon also was considered a possibility but just took over as head coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. She became the first female assistant in the NBA back in 2014.

The last thing Popovich will want is a bunch of pomp and circumstance surrounding his decision, so expect it to come very quietly either way. Perhaps he at least waits until after next month’s draft lottery as if the Spurs win the No. 1 overall pick, that might sway him to return. San Antonio has a six percent chance of winning it.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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