Gregg Popovich is once again in the NBA news cycle as his name continues to circulate around the rumor mill that is the Brooklyn Nets impending head-coaching hunt.
Inside Pass on @TheAthleticNBA: Sources say the Nets are interested in Spurs icon Gregg Popovich and will explore possibility as head coaching search begins. https://t.co/FgEaC3whXR— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 24, 2020
Despite zero indication from the play-caller about any arrangements to leave San Antonio, a Shams Charania story about interest from Brooklyn, coupled with Las Vegas betting odds, has some people pondering his future with the Spurs.
What are the odds of Gregg Popovich leaving the #Spurs to take the #Nets job? Here they are via @SportsBettingAG.— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) August 24, 2020
The odd makers seem to think there is a decent chance Pop could leave to coach KD and Kyrie. How about Tim Duncan listed at 50 to 1 odds! #NBA pic.twitter.com/6BXzOf6Zyz
Gerald Brown of Sirius XM NBA Radio reported the Nets are planning to put together a “godfather” offer for the Popovich a month ago, though general manager Sean Marks shot down the idea of luring him from the Spurs.
"There's a story going around that the Brooklyn Nets are looking to make a Godfather offer to Gregg Popovich." #GoSpursGo pic.twitter.com/mcZM23m8up— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) July 3, 2020
Here is a MONTH-OLD quote from Nets GM Sean Marks on the Gregg Popovich to Brooklyn Nets rumors: pic.twitter.com/en1CF2JEQK— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) August 24, 2020
Front office executives are known to lie about their true intentions from time to time to avoid incurring increasingly expensive fines for tampering, so no one should dismiss Brooklyn’s interest in acquiring Popovich, especially considering their many Spurs connections.
Marks won a title playing for Popovich in 2005 and operated as both an assistant coach and assistant general manager for the Silver and Black from 2013 to 2016. Nets assistant general manager Andy Birdsong, interim head coach Jacque Vaughn, and assistant coaches Tiago Splitter and Bret Brielmaier are also Spurs alumni.
Although Pop likely has the respect to take a meeting with the Brooklyn Nets given his relationship with several of their staff members, it’s tough to imagine the 71-year-old leaving San Antonio to start anew in the twilight of his career.
In any case, the Spurs would need to trade Popovich to the Brooklyn Nets or relieve him of his head coaching duties since he still has two years of his three-year extension remaining on the contract he signed last offseason.
It doesn’t appear San Antonio has any desire to fire Popovich anytime soon, and an organization that prides itself on loyalty and family almost definitely won’t deal one of the greatest coaches in NBA history in search of first-round picks and unproven assets.