Gregg Popovich April 8, 2023; Austin, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich walks the sideline during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Moody Center on Saturday, April 8, 2023 in Austin. Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY NETWORK

Gregg Popovich has no plans on stepping down as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. At least not anytime soon.

Popovich had been head coach of the Spurs for less than a full season when they drafted Tim Duncan first overall in 1997. Now, 26 years later, San Antonio has a new generational No. 1 overall pick in Victor Wembanyama. And Popovich apparently wants to coach Wembanyama for several seasons.

Shams Charania reported on Saturday evening that the Spurs and Popovich agreed on a five-year contract extension.

Popovich has done it all. He’s led the Spurs to five NBA Championships and his all-time wins record of 1,366 won’t be challenged anytime soon (the next-highest active coach, Rick Carlisle, has 896). Popovich will also be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023.

Knowing that he has nothing left to prove, the general feeling in the NBA world was that Popovich — who will be only months short of his 80th birthday when the contract ends after the 2027-28 season —  signed this extension so he could have a significant role in Wembanyama’s career.

For most of Popovich’s tenure, San Antonio was a model of consistency. Not only did the Spurs win five championships but they reached the playoffs every year from 1997-98 (Duncan’s rookie season), through 2018-19, with most of those seasons featuring a deep postseason run. The four years since, though, have been a different story. San Antonio has only reached the play-in tournament twice and both times was eliminated in the first game.

[Shams Charania]

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