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Looking back at Pop’s opposing head coaches- Pelicans edition

One of the leagues younger teams has gone the route of recycling coaches through their system

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans - Play-In Tournament Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

As mentioned previously, an article entitled “Pop’s Incredible Longevity” revealed that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has coached against 307 different NBA coaches during his twenty-eight year tenure at the helm.

Since the firing of Bob Hill in 1996, Pop has consistently coached the Spurs, give or take an ejection or two. Tonight the Spurs face off against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans (who have also been known as the New Orleans Hornets as well as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in the wake of the devastation due to Hurricane Katrina), have only been in existence since 2002. Therefore, every coach to pass through has faced off against Pop.

Paul Silas (2002-2003), Tim Floyd (2003-2004), Byron Scott (2004-2009), Alvin Gentry (2015-2020), and Stan Van Gundy (2020-2021) all coached against Pop before they came to The Big Easy, which is to say New Orleans tends to hire tried and true coaches who have longevity with the game.

Jeff Bower (2009-2010) took over for Scott after he was fired. At the end of the season, he returned to GM duties with the franchise.

Monty Williams (2010-2015) got his start head coaching in New Orleans, but is most definitely not the only team in which he and Pop have done battle. He also played under Popovich from 1996-1998.

New Orleans Pelcians v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

Willie Green (seen above being told by Pop that he’s put on a few pounds over the holidays) has been with NOLA since 2021. He played with the Hornets for a stint in 2010-2011. Their record under Green continues to improve annually, but with injury-prone Zion Williamson, one can never predict just where the Pelicans will land come postseason.

Go Spurs Go!


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