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Gregg Popovich says he’d like to continue to coach Spurs beyond this season

Jun 14, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT

Gregg Popovich Gregg Popovich

SAN ANTONIO – Gregg Popovich was anticipating certain types of questions to be lobbed his way during Saturday’s media availability in advance of Sunday’s Game 5, where his Spurs will have a chance to finish off the Heat and win a fifth NBA title under his reign as the team’s head coach.

But he wasn’t necessarily expecting to be probed about his future.

It’s been speculated that Popovich may choose to end his coaching tenure at the same time as Tim Duncan, who has only a player option for next season remaining on his deal. If indeed that was the plan, it would make sense for Popovich to groom a successor to continue his winning tradition. But it hasn’t exactly been a priority for someone so focused on the task at hand.

“I don’t think about legacy very often or at all, I guess,” Popovich said. “But if something like that happened or was available, we’d do it, but we haven’t really discussed it.”

Duncan wanted no part of retirement talk when he faced a similar line of of questioning.

“I don’t have any plans on doing anything,” Duncan said. “I’m going to figure it out when it comes. I’m not saying I’m retiring, I’m not saying I’m not retiring. I’m not saying anything. I’m going to figure it out as it goes.”

“I  don’t have a timeframe,” he continued. “I don’t think about it. Whatever people are saying or who has insight on whatever, they’re getting it from somewhere else because I haven’t told anybody anything nor have I thought about it in any respect.”

While Duncan made it clear he’s truly undecided, Popovich was a bit more willing to commit to continuing his brilliant career.

“I don’t feel tired,” Popovich said. “I mean, I’m tired today, but I mean in general. I’d like to continue to coach.”

Beyond this season?

“Sure,” he said. “I didn’t think I was going to have to answer those kind of questions today.”

The reason that those were the questions that came, of course, was due to the fact that the Spurs — a team that’s won at least 50 games for 15 straight seasons — have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Heat in these Finals. And based on how San Antonio has performed offensively in this series, most observers expect that its result is now a foregone conclusion.

All of which forces us to look forward to what might be next for one of the league’s all-time great franchises.

  1. flickflint - Jun 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    I remember earlier in the season he said he’d retire whenever Duncan decides to

  2. jimb25 - Jun 14, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Ride together, retire together, Spurs for life!

  3. davidly - Jun 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Did the article really just add “Beyond this season?” for his affirmative response about continuing to coach? Y’don’t think they were asking about to-morrow night, do you?

    • davidly - Jun 15, 2014 at 6:15 AM

      Addendum: indeed, in this article Pollakoff is apparently paraphrasing a reporter’s “Beyond this year?” interjective question in answer to Popovic’s “I’d like to continue to coach.”

      Maybe she meant “Beyond next season”. Pop let her off easy. He could’ve said sarcastically, “No. I’d like to go ahead and finish out this series.”

  4. money2long - Jun 14, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    I was thinking …

    The perfect player for a coach popovic team would ideally be Lebron James.
    And a perfect coach for lebron would be popovic.

    Can you imagine the type of damage that would occur if they united?

  5. antistratfordian - Jun 14, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Ha. They think they won already. Someone remind them that they still have games to play. Miami isn’t planning on coming out to lay down.

    LBJ is something else in elimination games. He will play a ton of minutes, look for his own shot, and crash the boards with abandon.

    • gpatrick15 - Jun 14, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Enlighten me on the last time a team came back from down 3-1 in NBA history. I’m sure it’s a fantastic story.

      • antistratfordian - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        I think the last time was in 2006 when the Suns came back on the Lakers. Miami did it last back in 1997 against the Knicks.

    • frank0888 - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Still believe all the hype?

    • 1historian - Jun 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      “They think they won already.”

      Wrong.

  6. jollyjoker2 - Jun 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    it aint over until they are kicking dirt on Miami’s coffin.

  7. ocgunslinger - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Without question Gregg Popovitch IS the premier coach of the league and has been since PJ retired. I hope he stays because his teams are so well coached and prepared they are a joy to watch.

  8. ocgunslinger - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Correct my typo to Popovich.

  9. chitownbrown - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    At this point they should just pay him with a blank check. Meanwhile, maybe the Heat can go to the European league and sign a blank Czech for their roster.

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