HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

June 15, 2014 Updates

Seventeen years later, Popovich is a likely Hall of Fame coach with four NBA titles and one win from his fifth. Hill has lived in San Antonio for the past 11 years and has spent several years coaching in China, Taiwan, and Japan. “It’s part of life — [Popovich] always wanted to be the head coach, I just didn’t recognize it quick enough,” Hill said. “Listen, the last two games they have played against Miami have been just phenomenal. They have kicked Miami’s butt from one baseline to the other baseline, every facet of basketball, they’ve dominated. They’ve done it as a team and that’s a credit to the players. “When you play that well, you have to give them credit. They deserve it. What you’re witnessing with this team is real.” Boston Globe

When asked if he had any relationship with Popovich, Hill laughed and said, “No.” Hill said he doesn’t lament San Antonio’s success under Popovich. “If it was that hard [to deal with] I wouldn’t live here,” he said. “It’s not hard for me. I know what happened. It’s been interesting to watch the team grow. The great thing about the Spurs is they have a great team but they have really great people. It’s all come to fruition right now.” But when asked about those years, when the Spurs were in transition with an aging Robinson and before Duncan emerged as a possibility, Hill wishes things had turned out differently. “I didn’t have any idea [Popovich wanted to coach], I had an idea after the second year [in 1995-96] and two teams called and asked for permission to talk to me and they wouldn’t give them permission,” he said. “I had a pretty strong feeling at that point if he had a chance to fire me, he was going to. I probably should have just resigned and got out of here. I stayed and he got the job. I’m sure he had that in mind all along.” Boston Globe

If the Spurs win the title on Sunday, don’t expect Tim Duncan or Gregg Popovich to announce they will be riding off into the sunset. Duncan was vague on his future after practice on Saturday, while Popovich, San Antonio’s head coach, said he wants to keep on leading his perennial contender. “I don’t feel tired. I mean, I’m tired today, but I mean in general. I’d like to continue to coaching,” Popovich said, adding that he does not think about his legacy very often, but loves to coach. Toronto Sun

June 14, 2014 Updates

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.” NBCSports.com

June 13, 2014 Updates

But sources say the Spurs, to this point, are quietly operating under the assumption that Duncan and Popovich will indeed be back next season. Both of their current contracts, along with those of fellow Spurs pillars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, expire after the 2014-15 season, provided Duncan decides to opt in. ESPN.com

In another basketball clinic, the Spurs schooled the Heat 107-86 and took a 3-1 series lead. Game 5 is Sunday in San Antonio (8 p.m. ET, ABC), and the Spurs are on the verge of the franchise's fifth championship and first since 2007. The Spurs were 26 seconds from a title last season but blew a five-point lead with 28.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Game 6. OK, so the Spurs didn't make 19 of their first 21 shots like they did in Game 3. Still, it was offensive harmony, and the Spurs made 11 of their first 18 shots, grabbing an early lead that that extended to 31-17 with 10:24 left in the second quarter. "I'm pleased that they performed as well as they did while we've been in Miami, and that's about as far it goes," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Now, we've got to go back home and play as well or better." USA Today Sports

June 12, 2014 Updates

Asked to describe his evolution as a coach over 17-plus seasons with the Spurs, the reigning coach of the year astounded a room full of cynics. The essence of his answer: Learning that less is more. In that spirit, here he is, unfiltered: “I think I've learned to shut up more, and that probably is due to Manu Ginobili. When he first came, I was going to make him a heck of a player. And after 20 minutes, I realized that he didn't need me to do that. He was already a heck of a player. Sometimes being quiet and letting the player play is much more important than trying to be Mr. Coach and teach him this or teach him that. “So I think as time evolves and you get older in the business, you figure out what's really important, and you don't waste time trying to make people what they're not going to be. I didn't make him a competitor, and there is no way I could make him a non-competitor, so you've just got to figure out who people are and what they can give you and take advantage of their positives. San Antonio Express-News

June 11, 2014 Updates

Gregg Popovich doesn't suffer fools. He doesn't play politics. And he certainly doesn't make a habit out of handing out bad scouting reports. So when the San Antonio Spurs coach deemed Kawhi Leonard the future face of his franchise in late August 2012, it was enough to make the basketball world take even greater notice of the young player who had quietly become a key part of their vaunted system. They noticed again Tuesday night, when his 29 points and smothering defense of LeBron James sparked the Spurs' 111-92 win vs. the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals that gives them a 2-1 series lead. USA Today Sports

The potential that Popovich championed so early on was there for all to see. "Well, we just wanted him to be who he's been the whole year, in the regular season and in the playoffs," said Popovich, who landed Leonard via trade from the Indiana Pacers on draft night 2011 when he was taken 15th overall out of San Diego State. "I think the foul situations the first two games really he overreacted to them and became very cautious, and he doesn't play like that. He's got to be real active at both ends, and so he figured it out. "He was just himself. ... That's how he's played all year long. He's got to be one of our better players on the court or we're not good enough. That's just the way it is. He's got that kind of talent where — you know, it's the NBA Finals. You can't just be mediocre out there if you want to win a game, and everybody's got to play well, and he did that." USA Today Sports

June 10, 2014 Updates

Spurs general manager R.C. Buford on Tuesday denied published reports indicating the Spurs will add highly regarded European coach Ettore Messina to Gregg Popovich’s coaching staff. “Is someone leaving our staff that I don’t know about?” Buford said when asked about the Messina report. “We have not had one conversation with anyone about a coaching position for next season.” San Antonio Express-News

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