Not so long ago, San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich was considered by some as the greatest coach in NBA history. At least, he was a lock to crack the top 3, with Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, or Pat Riley getting of the remaining spots.
But since Tim Duncan retired and Kawhi Leonard left the team, the Spurs haven’t been able to find success. That, combined with the way Team USA have underperformed under Popovich’s command, has some people trying to create a narrative of him being overrated.
Needless to say, most people who actually know basketball strongly disagree with that take, including Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, who’s currently a part of Team USA for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Kevin Durant Says Gregg Popovich Challenges You Every Day
“He has been good. Pop challenges you every day – your mentality, your IQ for the game. Physically he challenges you because the practices are tough. He likes to joke a lot too," Durant said on ‘The ETCs podcast’.
“If you’ve got a little wit to you, then I think you can survive playing under Pop. And it’s good to be around the guys that work with him too. Chip Engelland, Steve Kerr, they’ve all worked and been around Pop since decades,” he concluded.
You have to be the pettiest guy to say that Popovich is an overrated coach. Maybe he’s failed to adjust to the modern NBA but we’re talking about a guy who owns multiple records and has won 5 NBA Championships in 2 decades.
Most of the players who played for Popovich view him as a father and most of his assistants end up getting coaching gigs around the league. That’s not a coincidence. He’s a great leader and a basketball mastermind. Don’t take it from me, take it from Kevin Durant.