Player poll reveals Gregg Popovich is the most beloved head coach in the NBA

Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

In a recent poll from The Athletic, NBA players voted for Gregg Popovich as the head coach they most want to play for.

Popovich, head coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996, has earned high praise from players for decades. That trend continued after The Athletic anonymously polled 95 players on multiple NBA topics. One of those topics was which coach players would most want to play for.

With 25.3% of the vote, Popovich won the lopsided poll over well-respected coaches such as Golden State's Steve Kerr (13.7%) and Miami's Erik Spoelstra (9.5%).

The 74-year-old is the winningest head coach in league history, and last month, it was announced that he will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. While it was a down season for the Spurs as they prepare for another trip to the NBA Draft Lottery, that hasn't stopped Popovich from the joys of coaching. 

Despite the perception that free agents don't want to play in a small market like San Antonio for Gregg Popovich, players continue to disprove that misconception. Players, coaches, and executives have lauded the gold medal-winning coach. Most of that praise is for how Popovich conducts himself off the court.

""When I first got to the NBA, Coach Pop told me one thing that always stuck with me, is how do you put your whole fingerprints on the world and leave your mark.""

George Hill

Whether Popovich is using his platform to discuss current events or taking his players to museums to educate them on world history, he has always emphasized things outside basketball.

Though he has a reputation as a stern-faced playcaller, players have nothing but good things to say about Popovich. One anonymous player from the recent poll on The Athletic even said, "Who wouldn't enjoy playing for Pop?"

This isn't the first time Popovich has won the favor of the players. In the 2019 player poll from The Athletic, over 40% of the players voted for Popovich as the coach they would most want to play for. Regardless of what you might hear, there's no doubt players would choose Gregg Popovich as their coach if given a chance.

Next. 3 Free Agent targets the Spurs should pursue this offseason. dark