Spurs coach Greg Popovic breaks Don Nelson’s all-time NBA record with 1,336th victory

Greg Popovich became the NBA’s all-time successful head coach with 1,336 wins.

San Antonio Spurs beat the visiting Utah Jazz team 104-102 on Friday night, beating Dan Nelson Bobovic, who had previously held the record for most regular season wins.

“It’s a testament to a lot of people,” Popovich said. “It’s not like it’s an individual game. Basketball is a team sport. You teach your players to do it together. It’s definitely happened with all the wonderful players and coaches in my life, the staff I serve. The fans support us.

“Everyone is participating in this post. This is not mine. This is ours, here in the city.”

Spurs released a video from Nelson after the game, congratulating Bopovich – he was one of his best friends – and told him how proud he was of his former assistant’s achievements and all the wonderful things you had done for basketball. All over the world.”

“I’m very proud to have done that,” Nelson said. “I can not wait for this day to happen. And I want you to know one of my best friends in your life, and I wish you the best of the rest of your years in the NBA.”

Bobovic, 73, is in his 26th season with Spurs, the longest-serving head coach in all four major sports leagues in the United States.

“Greg Popovich’s victory with Spurs is unprecedented in our league, so it is fitting that he now holds the record for most career successes,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“His leadership and unwavering commitment to the game is widely admired by many generations of players and coaches. Congratulations to Coach Bob for this latest achievement in his illustrious career.”

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Following the match, Bobowicz was given the ball by the Spurs All-Star defender Dijante Murray In a happy locker room celebration.

“Coach Bob you deserve it, we all love you and we’re glad to be able to enjoy this moment with you,” Murray presented the ball to Bobovich to commemorate the achievement.

Murray has previously said that Spurs did not discuss Bobovich’s achievement, but that players are ready to celebrate the milestone.

“Bob doesn’t like praise,” Murray said. “He doesn’t like it at all. It’s a good thing. But you want to remind him of his success because it’s rare. Because he’s a guy who wants to focus on success and every day. He will never grow up. Anything to praise himself.

“We are not talking [the record], But because he is a great man and he deserves it we are definitely going to enjoy it when we get it for him. He pushes all the players like you are the first guy, the last guy, the G-League player, the 10-day contract, and he hugs you from day one. He deserves it all. “

Longtime Spurs point guard Tony Parker has given an early congratulations to his former coach.

“Very happy with the pop,” Parker told ESPN. “Very happy. It was a tremendous achievement. Deserved. It shows his hard work and longevity.”

Popovich, named one of the NBA’s 15 Best Head Coaches in February, has won five championships and three Best Coach awards. He has a record of 23 consecutive successful regular seasons.

After training at Pomona-Fitzer in Claremont, California, Popovich joined Larry Brown’s Spurs staff in 1988. After four seasons with Spurs, Popovich joined Nelson’s staff in Golden State in 1992 as an assistant.

Nelson told ESPN, “He’s the best coach to push them back.” When I hired him as an assistant coach, I thought he could learn something from me. But I learned more from him than he did from me, for sure. “

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He is the fourth coach to top the list of victories at the end of the NBA’s first season. Red Auerbach had this identity for half a century, followed by Lenny Wilkens, followed by Nelson – now, Popovich.

“The paradox is that Nellie gave me a job in ’92 when I didn’t have a job,” Popovich said. “He accepted me. Being in this position like him is unworthy and very disgusting because he was so wonderful at saving my family’s ass. So, it’s ridiculous that I am sitting here in this position.”

Before returning to San Antonio in 1994 as general manager and vice president, Popovich spent two seasons with Golden State.

During the 1996-97 season, Popovich returned to the bench and took over as head coach.

Milwaukee head coach Mike Budenholzer, who has spent 17 seasons as Spurs assistant coach, said: “It’s like a brainless.” [of coaches], I think there is no doubt as to where he is and where he is. Success, stability and longevity and the impact he has had on an entire organization, on individual players, on coaches, on GMs, on scouts, on equipment, and on families. He made an incredible impact on wins and games and championships and in many ways going beyond that.

“Not now, but having been a championship competitor for 20 years, playing for the championship and playoffs, I don’t think you’ll ever see it again from a single company, from a coach. [New England] As patriots, I think this is something I know I will be most amazed at. “

With Spurs on the verge of rebuilding, it was difficult for Bobovic to get wins this season. But those close to him point out that this is just another example of his greatness – the ability to adapt over time, the changing game and talent and the talents on his list.

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Hall of Fame center David Robinson told ESPN, “He’s adjusted, I think he’s adapted.” He has been successful with a mix of different teams in different situations. We were a dominant defensive team. [the teams] With saffron [Leonard] And all the comrades, they dominated the attack. They were a good mix [on both sides]. Even now, you see how he had to adjust with a very different team.

“I think that’s what made him the best. How do you win 67% of your games in 25 years or whatever? It’s ridiculous. It’s so amazing.”

Popovich has long been respected by his players and his teammates. Aside from the success of his training, Popovich has taken a stand for social justice and racial equality and has always been vocal about what he believes.

Although Popovich has won more games now than any other NBA coach, some of his players and staff also remember that he did his best job after the heavy losses by keeping his team together.

After an overtime defeat in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, when Spurs lost a part due to Ray Allen’s iconic 3-point shot, Popovic gathered his team for dinner in Miami and offered his condolences for every disaster. The Heat beat Spurs in seven games, but San Antonio returned to beat them in the final next season.

“Almost after losing the 6th game when he won the championship, his phrase was [often], ‘Win together. Lose it together. Man must eat. ‘ So we ate together, “the long-time Spurs forward petitioner Ginobili told ESPN.” We talked, we basically cried together. Destroyed. It’s another great example of leadership and brings us together with confidence or trying to find answers. “

ESPN’s Marc Spears, Dave McMenamin, Brian Windhorst, Baxter Holmes and The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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