Spurs’ Gregg Popovich Ties Don Nelson for Most NBA Coaching Wins

Gregg Popovich tied Don Nelson as the winningest coach in NBA history after the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-110 Monday night.

The victory ended a four-game slide for the Spurs and gave the 73-year-old coach his 1,335th win.

Popovich didn’t comment on his history-making night after the game.

Instead, he acknowledged newcomer Josh Richardson’s performance and called it a “good win.”

However, Richardson took a moment to reflect on the victory and Pop’s accomplishment.

“It’s great to be just a tiny part of coach Pops record-setting win, and hopefully we can go get the record in the next game,” said Richardson. “It’s hard to put into words how much of an impact he’s had on not only the Spurs organization but the USA basketball organization and just basketball players in general.”

“Certainly happy for him, wish it wasn’t against us,” Lakers’ coach Frank Vogel said following his team’s loss. “But Pop is the best.”

Popovich will have his first shot at being No.1 when the Spurs take on the Toronto Raptors Wednesday.

The Spurs’ long-time coach has spent his entire 26-year career leading San Antonio after taking over the head coaching position in 1996 when as general manager, he fired then-head coach Bob Hill.

He led the Spurs to their first title in 1999 with David Robinson and Tim Duncan and won four more titles with Duncan’s help, the last against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in 2014.

Pop won coach of the year in  2003, 2012, and 2014 and was named one of the 15 greatest coaches in NBA history this year.

He has a .658 regular-season winning percentage and .599 in the playoffs.

Monday night’s win put the 12th seed Spurs at 25-40 in the Western Conference.

The team isn’t expected to make the playoffs, but young talent and new additions from Boston Richardson and Romeo Langford have shown promise.