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'He deserves it' | Spurs' Dejounte Murray looking forward to Popovich reaching NBA coaching record

Popovich is three regular season wins away from making NBA coaching history.

SAN ANTONIO — With just three more regular-season wins, Spurs' Gregg Popovich will become the winningest regular-season coach in NBA history.

But if you think he's seeking praise for the looming milestone, think again.

"Pop, he doesn't like praise. He doesn't like none of that. It's kind of a good thing," Spurs guard Dejounte Murray said at the 2022 NBA All-Star Media Day. 

He is sitting at 1,333 wins just behind his mentor and friend, Don Nelson, with 1,335 wins and the No. 1 spot.

However, as much as Popovich may want to ignore the huge accomplishment ahead for him, the Spurs All-Star guard feels Popovich should be reminded of the success he's had since arriving in San Antonio.

"We also want to remind him of his success. It's rare," Murray said. 

Credit: Photo by Antonio Morano bit.ly/XR79FT / Special to KENS5.com
Gregg Popovich, talking with guard Dejounte Murray during a game this season, has led the Spurs to 22 straight playoff seasons and five NBA titles.

Should Popovich get three more wins, it would be another notch in his incredible career.

He is already the fastest coach to reach 1,300 wins in NBA history and is the only NBA coach in history to spend 25-plus years with one franchise. He also owns the fifth-best winning percentage of all-time among coaches in all four major sports.

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"He's a guy that just wants to focus on winning and getting the team better each and every day," Muray said. "So he never brings up anything."

The three-time NBA Coach of the Year and five-time NBA championship coach might see himself reach the record soon enough.

The Spurs are playing better basketball and Murray's play this season will more than certainly up the odds the team can muster three more wins this season.

And for Murray, he believes Popovich deserves the accolades despite his reluctance to talk about it.

"We don't talk about it but we're damn sure going to enjoy it when we do get it for him because he deserves it," said Murray. "He's a great man. He pushes all his players."

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich confers with San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Denver. The Nuggets won 122-119. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Murray calls Popovich a "father figure," and gives him praise for helping him turn into a great player and a better person off the court.

"Coach Pop, I'm just thankful to have him. Mainly off the floor," Murray said last season. "Coach Pop is one of a kind. He helps me a lot. He's like that father figure in my life."

If asked about the upcoming milestone, the Spurs head coach might ignore the question or downplay it but Murray is looking forward to that special night.

"We don't talk about it but I look forward to getting that for him because it's going to be really important and good for him," he said. 

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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