When the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in game 5 Sunday night to claim their fifth NBA Championship since 1999, they became just the fourth franchise to win five NBA titles, joining the Boston Celtics (17), Los Angeles Lakers (16) and Chicago Bulls (six).
Gregg Popovich has been the Spurs head coach since 1996 and was the coach for all five titles, making him one of the greatest coaches of all time. In fact, one of the league’s all-time greats, Jerry West, believes Popovich is the greatest coach of all-time.
“I’ve never seen a better coach than Gregg Popovich,” West told Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio’s The Herd via Dan McCarney of The San Antonio Express News. “He does less than more. But having said that, when he gets less, he develops it into something really good. They have a great development program down there.”
“For a coach coming into this league, if they don’t hire people who are really competent, to take these young kids who haven’t made it somewhere but have talent and build a system they can prosper in, but more importantly to get these kids shoot the ball. When they got Kawhi Leonard, he was not a shooter. It tells you the significance of what they’ve done internally to improve their team.”
Popovich was an assistant at Air Force and a head coach for Pomona-Pitzer before becoming an assistant for the Spurs and Golden State Warriors. He has a career regular season record of 967-443 and a career playoff record of 149-90.