Rival coach’s comments prove Popovich still right man for the job

San Antonio's win versus the Indiana Pacers prompts head coach Rick Carlisle to praise the new-look Spurs, a credit to Coach Popovich.

Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Brien Aho/GettyImages

The calls for Coach Popovich to be let go because of how this season has gone were always ridiculous. San Antonio has the longest-tenured coach in the league running their team and there is a reason for that. His ability to forge relationships and coach talented players is second to none. The growth of the team, paired with the emergence of Victor Wembanyama is a testament to his abilities as a leader.

Some of you may be thinking that since the team is only on a two-game win streak, praise for Coach Popovich should be tempered, but despite this abysmal season, there has been clear growth in several areas and people are taking notice.

Coach Pop deserves more respect

Phil Jackson left the Lakers when they became a bad team because he had no interest in rebuilding. Coach Popovich could have followed suit and retired right along with Tim Duncan, but he stayed during the downtimes. There has been a dearth of talent on the roster. That is not a detriment one can overcome with good coaching. You need great players to win in this league. He has shown he can do that.

Now that the team is perfectly positioned—with a plethora of assets and the acquisition of Victor Wembanyama—they can aggressively build a contender starting this offseason. Fans are desperate to return to the winning ways of old, something that should be happening sooner rather than later if the front office makes the right moves. Coach Pop deserves to be around to lead the Wemby era once that new talent arrives.