Gregg Popovich, the most successful NBA player at the time, is once again the highest-paid head of the league.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, San Antonio Spurs’ chief administrator agreed to a five-year deal of over $80 million on Saturday. This salary drives Popovich to overtake Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams for the NBA’s richest coaching deal.
Popovich was previously second to Williams on the NBA’s highest coaching salary of $11.5 million.
It’s not hard to understand why Popovich gets such a raise, even when he’s 74 and nine years away from his last NBA championship.
The Spurs have struggled to overcome the post-Tim Duncan era for several years, but have the chance to return to the NBA elite with the French phenomenon Victor Wembanyama, the first overall champion of the 2023 NBA project to be flagged as a generational talent.
Wembanyama was thrilled that Spurs won the draft lottery and Popovich was a clear reason why – the coach saw tremendous success with players from outside the U.S., including Wembanyama compatriots Tony Parker and Boris Diaw. Webanyama’s assimilation into an NBA culture is very important to everything in danger, and a coach like Popovich will help that.
Popovich topped the NBA’s all-time winning list with 1,366, plus five championships and three NBA Coach of the Year awards. With Duncan and David Robinson, he has shown that he can develop No. 1 pitches not only into stars, but also into the Hall of Fame. For a guy like that who’s already here, it makes sense to make sure he’s still there.