Gregg Popovich had one hell of a summer. Although his San Antonio Spurs came up short of earning a playoff spot, he still accomplished one of the biggest coaching achievements in basketball and the one thing that had eluded him all his life. Now fresh off a gold medal in which he silenced haters forever, one huge question lies ahead for Pop: What's next?
With Popovich turning 73 in January, the question about his retirement is just a matter of how soon. He's accomplished just about everything possible in his profession, yet one final marker to completely cement his legacy is still within reach. With 1,310 total NBA coaching wins, Pop is just 26 away from becoming the winnest coach of all time.
In May, I gave my thoughts about whether or not the pursuit of that tremendous record would have any bearing on his choice to return for the 2021-22 season. While I still feel like he doesn't see the record as that important, rumors say otherwise.
Former ESPN writer and longtime NBA correspondent Marc Stein recently wrote about Coach Popovich's future via his Substack (subscription required), in which he speculated about the legendary coach's future.
Mentioning the all-time record, Stein writes he's "heard enough whispers" to feel like Popovich wants the achievement more than he'd openly admit. While he correctly states it's not like Pop to chase individual achievements, it wouldn't be hard to sell me on the fact that he at least thinks about it sometimes.
Stein also dives into the relationship between Coach Pop and the current recordholder Don Nelson, explaining why Nelson himself hopes Popovich can take the record very soon.
Gregg Popovich still hasn't revealed any intentions either way for the upcoming season, but that's bound to change in the next few weeks. For now, he remains with a 1,310-653 record as a head coach, a 66.7 percent win rate.