SAN ANTONIO — Spurs’ Head Coach Gregg Popovich finally reached a personal goal - capturing the Olympic gold medal.
His accomplishment with Team U.S.A. at the Tokyo Olympics added to his storied career. It’s a career marked with multiple NBA titles, Coach of the Year Awards, and a reputation as the best basketball coach the game has ever produced.
During an interview with The Athletic, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr weighed in on his former coach’s accomplishment saying it was exactly what was needed to cap Popovich’s career.
“And for Pop, this is, in many ways, the cherry on the top of the sundae for his coaching career,” Kerr said. “In many ways, this is sort of a fitting topping to his incredible career. To add a gold medal, just an amazing accomplishment.”
Popovich was cut from the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball squad, which left him “devastated,” and he endured early criticism for the team’s subpar play during exhibition play, including a loss to France early in the Olympic tournament.
Coaching the U.S. squad to gold solidifies his career more than ever. It vaults his status on an international level where he is already respected among coaches outside the NBA.
“The responsibility was awesome. And I felt that every day for several years now,” Popovich said to the media following the win over France. “So, I'm feeling pretty light now.”
Now, he’ll turn his focus on the upcoming NBA season as the Spurs begin their rebuild.
And Kerr sees Popovich still patrolling the sidelines even though San Antonio’s glory days are far behind them.
“He’s obviously still going, but the Spurs, they’re not going to win a championship. Pop will be the first to tell you that,” said Kerr.
Stay right here at KENS 5 for all the latest Spurs news.