San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is easily one of the best coaches in NBA history. Leading the Spurs to multiple championships and deep playoff runs, the Popovich-led Spurs were one of the most consistent teams the league has ever seen.
This was especially true from the late 90s to the mid-2010s when the team was led by the iconic trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker. While other teams in the era often opted to play through their superstars, Popovich had a different approach, often focusing on team play.
This has become the norm in the modern NBA as well. While superstars are still putting up great numbers, the supporting cast is pivotal in the team's success. One of the main reasons for the same, though, might be the fact that many coaches in the current NBA were assistants to the legendary coach.
A total of six coaches in the league currently were former assistant coaches with the Spurs. This list includes the likes of Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka, Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings' new coach Mike Brown and Utah's new coach Will Hardy.
What's astonishing about the list is that four of the coaches led two top three teams each in the Eastern and the Western Conference last season. The list also includes Mike Budenholzer, who has successfully led the Milwaukee Bucks to a championship as well.
This goes on to show the greatness of the Spurs coaching system. While coach Popovich has been instrumental for superstars like Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard, his real success has been the development of multiple top coaches in the NBA.
Not only that, the veteran has his influence in the WNBA as well, with former assistant coach Becky Hammon now the head coach for the Las Vegas Aces. While his former assistants continue to flourish, Popovich is about to begin a rebuild for the San Antonio Spurs for next season.
With the team already trading Dejounte Murray and not re-signing players like Lonnie Walker IV, a complete rebuild is surely on the cards. Given that the Spurs and coach Pop have had success in developing talented players, it will be interesting to see which young player becomes the next star under the legendary coach.