Spur’s head coach Gregg Popovich notched his 1000th career victory as his team defeated the Pacers 95-93 on Monday night to reach this milestone.
The run that he and the Spurs have been on is one so rare in sports, especially in these days where players and coaches constant change teams. They have built a run of success that few other franchises can boast about and do it in the fashion that San Antonio has.
They have been a franchise that has never been one to sign big time free agents that would become the center of their franchise. They have instead made shrewd signings of players who can come in and help them in a particular role that they need filled. Their ability to draft and develop their own players has been something that has been remarkable to watch and admire for years. Though they have been able to do all this and perfect it to a point, Gregg Popovich has been the one to make this all work along with the players he has surrounded himself with.
Just think… since 1996 when Popovich made himself head coach, he has a winning percentage of .684 and five NBA titles to his credit. That is astounding to think about especially when you think how many great teams he and the Spurs have had to deal with and defeat in order to win at the level they have and win the amount of championships they have won.
Despite the level of competition, the Spurs have found a way to march on and continue to find ways to win at a consistent level and be a title contender for nearly every year Popovich has been head coach.
What has been most impressive about Popovich is his willingness and ability to adapt and change his style of play over the years. Back in the David Robinson and early days of Tim Duncan, the Spurs were a very physical and defensive minded team that also played inside out on offense. That formula worked for years as he won a couple of titles with that approach and made the Spurs into the powerhouse they have and still are to this day.
Major credit though goes to him when the NBA started to change their rules and become more of an offensive minded league, having rules that made it easier for offenses to score a high number of points. He could have stayed the way he was and not change but he changed the way his team operated on the offensive side of the ball and came away with terrific results.
San Antonio morphed into in a team that stressed more ball movement, spacing the floor and committing to more outside shooting. It has led to them winning their latest championship last season over the Miami Heat, which they featured some of the most crisp and free flowing style of offense the NBA Finals has seen in a longtime.
Popovich has already stamped his ticket as a hall of fame coach with the success he has been able to create alongside his players, but this 1000 win milestone only adds to what will be one of the greatest all time coaching resumes in any of the U.S major league sports.