With last night’s 102-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich tied Jerry Sloan’s NBA record for the most career wins with a single franchise.
Pop now sits at 1,127 career victories as a head coach, the Spurs being the only team he’s ever led. He reached the aforementioned milestone in two fewer seasons than Jerry Sloan, who led his Stockton/Malone Utah Jazz to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998.
Pop took some time to acknowledge the Jazz’s importance to the legacy of the league.
“[Utah] was then and still is a class organization, and we tried to do it similarly to them as far as how we conducted the program, what we expected, how to do it, how to keep it to yourself and that sort of thing,” he said.
Spurs such as Tony Parker marveled in astonishment at Pop’s most recent feat.
“It’s amazing. Obviously, growing up, Jerry Sloan was one of the big names, [when I was] watching the Finals with [Michael] Jordan and stuff like that,” Parker said. “So, to have Pop up there, he’s going to keep going. He looks like he’s not getting tired or [that he’s going to] stop anytime soon. It’s very impressive to coach that long and keep your team motivated with the same message. It’s not easy.”
Popovich, not one to bask in his own glory, simply said the milestone is a product of his extensive coaching tenure.
“When you get all those wins, it’s just a longevity thing more than anything,” Popovich said. “So I’m thankful for having the job for a while.”