San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich is the longest tenured coach in the NBA.
Pop took over as head coach of the Spurs in 1996 and cleaned house trading Dennis Rodman to the Chicago Bulls for Will Perdue.
With strong leadership, Popovich, a five-time NBA champion has guided names like David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard.
Leadership is Pop’s calling card.
In high school, I read The Autobiography of Douglas McArthur. General MacArthur commanded the United States through the Southwest Pacific in World War II.
The autobiography thoroughly highlighted MacArthur’s military career, his personal life and the battles during World War II. MacArthur was one of only five men promoted to the five-star rank of General of the Army during World War II. What left an indelible mark on me while reading MacArthur’s book was his dedication to leadership, his constant examples that he left to his subordinates of his character and his emphasis on behaving in a manner in which peoplewould want to follow him.
That leadership is similar to Popovich.
This season, the Spurs rolled into the NBA Playoffs with a 48-34 record and the seventh seed. San Antonio are looking to make noise in the NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets.
The addition of DeMar DeRozan in a summer trade with the Toronto Raptors has been key for the Spurs’ success.
Pop’s teams always find a way to get things done. That’s similar to New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick.
The Spurs and Patriots are easily comparable. Both teams experienced a run of success that began around the same time.
The Popovich/Tim Duncan Spurs won their first NBA title in 1999 and the Belichick/Tom Brady Patriots won their’s in 2001.
Million Dollar Question: Is Gregg Popovich the Bill Belichick of the NBA?
“I’d have to think so,” former San Antonio Spurs guard, Devin Brown told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“And I’d just do it by what’s going on this year. Nine new players on the Spurs, nobody knows these guys. If they were healthy, I’d think two or three of the guys who have stepped up this year would not even be playing the major minutes that they’re playing. But what happens? Pop doesn’t look at any kind of excuse, and I can guarantee you, in practice, when he’s screaming and going over film, he’s saying, “I don’t care who’s on the floor, we just need five guys out there. And of the five guys that are going to be out there, if you execute and do the things that we ask, we’ll be successful”, and that’s what they’re getting done this year, you know? So you have to say, and the same thing with the Patriots, they’re picking up guys that nobody wanted and they’re going back to the Super Bowl, and that’s almost the same script that the Spurs are doing.”