Coach Gregg Popovich, current head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, has been ranked the best head coach in all of sports on ESPN's Ultimate Standings from 2012 to 2015, and sports fans everywhere agree that he is one of the best coaches of all time. Below are five reasons why coach Popovich deserves the title of "Best Coach Ever."
5. He has created an atmosphere of trust
Coach Popovich has always been known to be very honest and direct with his players. He praises them when they play like the superstars that they are, but gets harsh and is not afraid to scold them when they are not playing up to their own standards. In fact, when Tony Parker first joined the Spurs, he admitted that Popovich used to make him cry and would constantly critique his play. However, this style of open and up-front coaching has developed a strong bond of trust between all the players, and Parker and Ginobili admitted they would only resign long-term contracts if they knew Coach Pop would be their head coach.
4. He revolutionized modern basketball
Coach Popovich became the face of recruiting European basketball players into the NBA before the NBA promoted league globalization. The Spurs began exploiting the corner 3-point shot before many other teams, which has now been proven as one of the most effective and unstoppable shots on the floor. Coach Pop was even met with league fines when he decided to start resting older starters for whole games during the midseason as to not wear them down too much, This strategy is now extremely common and used by every team, especially once a playoff spot has been clinched.
3. The wins
Of course, a coach can not be considered to be the greatest of all time without a substantial amount of wins. Under Popovich, the Spurs have won the NBA Championship five times, an accomplishment that only four other coaches in NBA history can claim. Coach Pop is also one of only nine coaches ever to win 1,000 games during his career. He also holds the record for most consecutive winning seasons, for the playoffs and regular season, at 19 straight years.
2. He keeps his team accountable
Perhaps one of the best things about Gregg Popovich is that he holds his team accountable and does not deal with players that have a "superstar" mentality. Coach Popovich focuses only on playing basketball, and that is exactly what he demands of his players. No flash, little excitement, just solid fundamentals and players excelling.
1. The interviews
If you have not seen coach during an interview, you are missing a key component in your life. Popovich is one of the funniest and most sarcastic interviewees of all time. He has a strong dislike of sports journalism and therefore normally provides very short and hilarious remarks to most questions. If you have not seen him during an interview, I urge you to spend five minutes watching this video.