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Woj: Will Hardy 'Would've Been in the Mix' to Succeed Gregg Popovich as Spurs HC

Erin WalshJune 28, 2022

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Former Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy is reportedly finalizing a five-year deal to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz, but apparently that might not have been his only head coaching option.

Hardy "very much would've been in the mix" to succeed Gregg Popovich as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"This is a coach who very much would've been in the mix in San Antonio when Gregg Popovich retires, and among general managers in the league, it was just a question of when he would get a head coaching job."

Hardy replaces Quin Snyder and will be the youngest active head coach in the NBA at 34 years old.

Hardy spent the 2021-22 season working as an assistant under Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who is also a part of the Popovich coaching tree. Hardy began his career as a video coordinator for Popovich's Spurs in 2013 before being promoted to assistant coach in 2015.

Hardy also served as head coach of San Antonio's NBA Summer League team from 2015-16 to 2018-19 and served on Team USA's coaching staff for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Popovich has served as head coach of the Spurs since 1996. In his 26 seasons, he has gone 1,344-701 in the regular season and has led the franchise to five NBA titles, with the latest coming in 2014.

While San Antonio has found an immense amount of success under Popovich, the franchise has struggled over the last three seasons, finishing toward the bottom of the Western Conference and missing the playoffs.

That said, the Spurs are in a rebuild, and there's only so much Popovich can do with the squad he has been given.

However, the 73-year-old is undoubtedly inching closer to retirement, and it's unclear when he'll decide to call it quits. With head coaching searches currently underway, at this point, it's reasonable to believe Popovich will return to the San Antonio bench in 2022-23.

We'll just have to wait and see what one of the most iconic head coaches in NBA history decides to do after that.

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