The Spurs are getting ready for longtime head coach Gregg Popovich to retire inside the subsequent yr or two, league sources inform Jordan Schultz of ESPN.
In response to Schultz, the group is starting an “in depth” search to determine Popovich’s successor. That search will cowl each exterior and inside candidates.
Within the years main as much as the Tokyo Olympics, there had been hypothesis that the occasion could be Popovich’s swan tune. Nonetheless, even after main Crew USA to gold in Japan following a one-year delay, he’s returning to the sidelines in San Antonio for the 2021-22 season.
Two current experiences have steered this may be Popovich’s final season because the Spurs head coach, however each Zach Lowe of ESPN and Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report warned to not rule out the opportunity of the 72-year-old sticking round for an additional yr past that. Primarily based on Schultz’s report, it seems like two extra years could be the longest Popovich would proceed teaching.
Lowe’s story final month acknowledged that former Spurs assistant Will Hardy and former San Antonio star Manu Ginobili are the 2 candidates most incessantly talked about in league circles as candidates to succeed Popovich, even though it’s unclear whether or not Ginobili has reliable curiosity in teaching. Present Spurs assistants — together with Becky Hammon — are additionally believed to be candidates, together with former Popovich assistants equivalent to Brett Brown and Jacque Vaughn, per Fischer.
Not like most groups that determine to half methods with a coach on the finish of a season — or throughout a season — the Spurs will be capable to take their time with their search, without having to finalize a call in a matter of weeks and even months. And in contrast to most coaches who half methods with NBA organizations, Popovich appears prone to have some enter on who his alternative will likely be.
Popovich is the oldest head coach in NBA history and one among solely two coaches in league historical past that has held the job in his 70s.
He has been the Spurs head coach since December 1996, making him the NBA’s longest-tenured head coach by greater than a decade. Erik Spoelstra of the Warmth, who took the reins in April 2008, is the league’s second-longest-tenured coach. No different coaches have held their present job additional again than 2014.