Gregg Popovich has spent almost three decades at the helm of the San Antonio Spurs, drilling the fundamentals into countless players, capturing five championship banners, and building one of the most comprehensive coaching trees the league has ever seen. Several of his proteges have carved out successful careers leading the show from the sidelines, and most have nothing but respect and admiration for their Hall of Famer mentor.
Mike Brown is among the names who climbed the ladder as an assistant under Popovich, and he took home his second NBA Coach of the Year Award last season after navigating the Sacramento Kings to their first playoff appearance in 17 years. The esteemed playcaller joined Michael Scotto on the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast and shared the incredible lengths he would go to repay Popovich for all the lessons he taught him in the 2-1-0.
"I learned so many different things working with Gregg Popovich. I can’t thank him enough. His son has no interest in basketball. I told him if I’m ever in a position to hire people, if he called me and said, 'Mike, hire my son as your lead assistant,' I would do it."- Mike Brown
Though these Western Conference skippers are no longer on the same team, there is no doubt their bond extends beyond basketball. Popovich has gained a reputation for having a stern demeanor, but his rugged exterior belies his commitment to forming deep-rooted relationships with his players and staff members. What makes him such a remarkable human being is his hunger to connect on and off the court with everyone who sports the Silver and Black.
Spurs fans can check out the entire podcast above, where Mike Brown talks about paintballing with Tim Duncan, coaching LeBron James, and helping the Kings reach the next level.