Gregg Popovich is arguably the greatest coach in NBA history. And while he is probably grateful that so many fans hold him in such high esteem, the basketball community should know he never set out to earn that title. There are countless accomplishments that have cemented his reputation as an all-time playcaller, but his dedication to fostering meaningful relationships with players, influencing the landscape of the league, and serving his community set him apart from his peers.
1.) Building Relationships
Coach Pop impacts how players operate on and off the court. He holds an innate desire to establish unique relationships with all the individuals that walk through the doors of this organization, and that was especially to me clear after he answered my question about the advice he would have for Victor Wembanyama in the immediate aftermath of the 2023 NBA Draft.
Despite all the basketball knowledge and life experience Popovich possesses, you can always expect his words of wisdom to be tailored to each athlete. He made sure to drive home the importantance of the human connection during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, rounding out his speech with this touching sentiment.
"All those wins or losses, they fade away. But those relationships stick with you forever."
It only takes one look at the longevity of the relationships Coach Pop has formed throughout his time in the NBA to see how much people mean to him. His past players and former assistants always greet him with a huge smile across their face whenever they reunite, and those lifelong bonds demonstrate his strong belief that there is more to life than basketball.