Scotto on Will Hardy as an eventual Popovich replacemen…

Scotto on Will Hardy as an eventual Popovich replacement: I’ve heard some whispers on that from an executive or two around the league. This is a guy who has interviewed with the Knicks, Pacers, and the Thunder. He’s knocking on that door to be a head coach at some point in his career.

More on Gregg Popovich Retirement?

Popovich, who will head up Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, signed a three-year extension in April. But he’s widely believed to be taking a year-by-year approach to his late career at this point.
Popovich, who will head up Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, signed a three-year extension in April. But he’s widely believed to be taking a year-by-year approach to his late career at this point.
While the 70-year-old signed a three-year contract extension in April, he’s also widely known to be taking a year-by-year approach to this stage of his storied career. As of now, a source said Popovich has given no indication to the organization that he won’t be back next season. Yet whenever he steps away, whether it’s after he coaches Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics this summer or sometime thereafter, there’s one name that continues to come up from league sources as a possible replacement: Bill Self, the longtime Kansas coach and close friend of Spurs general manager R.C. Buford.
Self has been best friends with Buford since their college days together at Oklahoma State, and the relationship has only strengthened from there. They worked together as assistants under Larry Brown at Kansas in the 1985-86 season, and this 2003 piece from KUSports.com even indicates that it was Buford who recommended Self to Brown in the first place.
A quick note as a backdrop here: A source with knowledge of the Spurs’ thinking is quick to make it clear that this monumental choice will be, first and foremost, about what’s best for the organization and not based solely on personal relationships. Still, it’s worth monitoring and chronicling the deep ties here. What’s more, there has been one potentially significant development since Self found himself addressing these rumors when they first surfaced back in April: His program is under investigation for NCAA violations, and all of a sudden it’s fair to wonder if now might be the perfect time for him to take on a new challenge. Again, of course, that’s all depending on Pop and what he wants to do.
Robinson also said he was glad to hear that Gregg Popovich reportedly plans to return for a 24th season as the Spurs coach. Robinson said he remembers the uncertainty regarding Popovich's future after his wife, Erin, died in April 2018. "I went to the funeral they had up at the Air Force Academy, and that's tough, I don't care who you are," Robinson said. "Pop has always been a rock for this franchise and you almost never see him flinch. But I don't care who you are, that's a tough thing to go through, so you don't know how people are going to react. But I think it's been a great thing for him to coach. It's been a new family for him. And I am happy that he is coming back. He is fantastic."
A Popovich contract extension has been a foregone conclusion for months, but the deal won't change the fact that he will continue taking his coaching future on a year-to-year basis, league sources said. Spurs ownership believes he's entitled to manage his future how he wishes, sources said.
Gregg Popovich is currently negotiating a new deal to remain the coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Popovich met with the media for the final time this season on Monday afternoon and joked that he is currently in talks with three teams, the Spurs being one of them. “It’s three teams,” he said. “It’s one-third Portofino, one-third Positano, and one-third, San Antonio.”
Coach Gregg Popovich is negotiating a new deal with the San Antonio Spurs. The 70-year-old Popovich just finished his 23rd season with the Spurs. The team has made the playoffs in each of the past 22 seasons, a streak that ties for the longest in NBA history, and there was some speculation about whether he would return. He has won five NBA championships with San Antonio.
Mike Finger: Gregg Popovich probably will be back next season. A Spurs staffer said late Saturday night he had "no doubt." But after he coaches Team USA this summer, a flawed team awaits, and Popovich has a decision to make.
Popovich was asked in a round-about way what his future as a head coach will be after this season. "I'm a head coach in the NBA," Popovich responded. "I don't think about what that means in the future."
Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will soon become the fourth 70-year-old coach in N.B.A. history, but he remains undecided about coaching the Spurs beyond this season. Popovich, who turns 70 on Jan. 28, is in the last season of a five-year contract extension he signed after the Spurs won their most recent championship in 2014.
“I don’t know the answer,” Popovich said when asked about his plans for next season in an interview Wednesday night after the Spurs’ 105-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Popovich said he and R.C. Buford, San Antonio’s longtime team president, have periodically discussed the club’s various options after this season. “He’ll coach as long as he wants to coach,” Buford said.
At Staples Center last week, there was a pregame conversation among some of my fellow media members about whether Popovich is still enjoying himself. There was even a suggestion that he’s mellowed over the past few seasons. His once infamous in-game interviews have seemed a bit blander and straighter of late—but, mercifully, that doesn’t mean he’s lost his lovable edge entirely. After the Spurs fell to the Lakers later that evening, someone asked Popovich what made LeBron James so hard to stop in the fourth quarter.
Few in his orbit expect Popovich to coach the Spurs beyond the 2020 Summer Olympics, and there always has been the possibility that he could spend the 2019-20 season traveling around the NBA and across the globe, preparing for his national team duties. Perhaps Popovich can have Leonard on Team USA in 2020, too, but that's a conversation for a different day.
“It’s just that we’re all so prejudiced, it’s ridiculous,” Popovich said. “We think we’re the ones getting screwed all the time. The referees cannot win. I don’t care what happens. They will never win. Everyone is always going to bitch and moan about them, so it’s best to just play the game and don’t cry about it and move on. You never gain anything.”
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