The coach with the record for the most victories in the history of the NBA has a new contract.
Gregg Popovich, the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, who has guided the team to five NBA titles, has agreed to a new five-year deal with the organization, according to an announcement made by the Spurs on Saturday.
According to sources who spoke with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Popovich’s contract is worth more than $80 million, surpassing the amount of Monty Williams’ six-year, $78.5 million deal that he signed earlier this summer with the Detroit Pistons. Williams’ contract is for six years and was inked earlier this summer.
In March of 2022, Popovich, who was then 74 years old, took over the record held by Don Nelson for the most career wins by a coach in NBA history. Popovich finished his career with a win-loss record of 1,366 victories and 761 setbacks after the 2022-2023 season. Additionally, he is third all-time with 170 wins in the postseason.
Popovich is also the president of basketball operations for the Spurs, and it’s feasible that his new arrangement will allow him to earn the contract even if he doesn’t coach for five years.
In 1996, Popovich was hired by San Antonio to fill in as the team’s interim head coach. After winning the NBA lottery, the franchise used their winnings to select Tim Duncan the following year, which marked the beginning of a run of 22 straight appearances in the playoffs for the team.
This losing skid ended during the 2019-20 season, and the Spurs have now suffered four straight losing campaigns. On the other hand, they were fortunate enough to win the lottery a second time and select the French center Victor Wembanyama, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball prospects of all time.
After the draught, Popovich discussed how much he had enjoyed this past season, despite his team having a record of 22-60.
“We had such great guys character-wise that it didn’t matter how many we lost in a row, what mattered was the film session the next day and what we had to do, and they’d be at practice or the next game and try to fulfill everything we wanted them to do,” Popovich said. “We enjoyed the season because of the great guys we had.”
Therefore, it was one of the most — and I know this may sound odd — more joyful years. It was enjoyable in a way, mainly because I wasn’t on television often; you go to work, and you don’t worry about results other than players progressing and a team’s comprehension moving forward.