A great franchise is built through a combination of talented players, brilliant tacticians, and savvy executives ensuring that the ship is always steered in the right direction.
Considering how many San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches routinely get interviewed for opportunities as the head coach of another team, it speaks volumes to the type of organization that Gregg Popovich helped cultivate through recruiting only the best basketball minds to work alongside him.
Ettore Messina was once looking like a popular candidate to get an open head coaching gig, but now that focus has shifted to fellow Spurs assistant coach James Borrego.
When multiple assistants on the same staff are heavily sought after commodities to lead an NBA team, praise must be directed to the organization that allows such skillful leaders to flourish.
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Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting that Borrego will have a formal interview with the Houston Rockets on Monday. Borrego has also been linked to the Memphis Grizzlies’ coaching vacancy.
Borrego previously spent 2003-2010 with the Spurs as an assistant coach. He had a stint with the New Orleans Hornets in the same capacity before joining Jacque Vaughn’s staff for the Orlando Magic in 2012.
Vaughn was eventually fired as head coach, and Borrego spent 30 games as the Magic’s interim head coach in during the 2014-2015 season, going 10-20.
After he was passed over for Scott Skiles to be the head coach this past season, he returned to Popovich’s staff in San Antonio to reunite with the team that gave him his first job as an NBA assistant coach.
Messina and Borrego are both extremely capable of being an NBA head coach. Although their departure would mean that the Spurs’ coaching staff gets weaker, it’s comforting to know that the league would have more Popovich disciples leading teams.