There should never be any doubt about Gregg Popovich’s greatness, but if you did have any it should be gone after Sunday night. Popovich got his 1156th win in a 112-95 victory over the Suns, which officially makes him the sixth most winningest coach in NBA history.
This win puts Pop a step above Phil Jackson in terms of wins. Popovich has had many battles with the Zen Master over the years, but now he officially gets the last laugh. Plus, Popovich managed to rack up all of his wins with one squad — something no other coach ahead of him on the list can lay claim to.
Only George Karl (1175 wins), Pat Riley (1210 wins), Jerry Sloan (1221 wins), Lenny Wilkens (1332 wins), and Don Nelson (1335 wins) are all ahead of Popovich at this point. But maybe not for long.
What’s next for Popovich?
Popovich’s next milestone to cross is George Karl with 1175 wins. That’s only 19 wins, which is a guarantee for the Spurs’ future Hall of Fame coach this season.
Popovich is also 67 wins away from passing Jerry Sloan and becoming the third most winningest coach of all-time, which would mean the Spurs would have to win 72 games to make that happen. That probably isn’t going to happen this season, but you should book it for next year.
All-time wins is attainable for Pop
Popovich needs 181 wins to reach that milestone. Over his 22-year tenure with the Spurs, Popovich has averaged about 53 wins per season. If he can keep that pace up, it’ll only take about two and a half seasons to become the all-time coaching leader.
I don’t know about you, but I can see it happening. Either way, congrats to Popovich on getting to where he currently has. He’s one of the greatest coaches we’ve ever seen and it’s been a treat watching his success.