Report: Gregg Popovich Excited to Coach Young Spurs Team After Dejounte Murray Trade

Erin WalshJune 29, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 13: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2022 play-in tournament on April 13, 2022 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs could be in for another disappointing season in 2022-23 following a reported trade that will send Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. However, Gregg Popovich is reportedly embracing the chance to coach one of the youngest squads in the NBA.

According to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News, Popovich is said to be excited "like he's back at Pomona-Pitzer" and is "completely on board" with coaching a young roster next season.

San Antonio enters the 2022-23 season with an average age of 24, and Popovich is going to have a lot of work to do.

By trading Murray to the Hawks, the Spurs signaled they are fully dedicated to a rebuild, and some fans were questioning whether or not Popovich would want to stick around and coach a group that lacks proven talent.

That said, Popovich has stated in the past that he enjoys coaching a young team, telling reporters in September 2021 that the Spurs are "a team filled with great character, a lot of will, and that's what makes it fun."

"It's exciting. I have no idea who I am going to give it (basketball) to or what play we're going to run," Popovich added. "That's something we're going to figure out as we move along here. And to me, that is exciting as hell."

The Spurs finished the 2021-22 campaign with a 34-48 record and haven't had a winning season since 2018-19, but Popovich didn't enjoy coaching young players, he would have probably left a long time ago.

It's not necessarily surprising that Popovich finds the challenge of coaching a young roster exciting. The 73-year-old has been head coach of the Spurs since 1996 and has overseen a variety of teams—some veteran, some young, some a mix of the two.

Popovich has coached very experienced players like Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge over his historic career.

But now he's being tasked with coaching a young group that has a fire to get better and improve. With a roster that includes Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones, among others, Popovich will enjoy the personal challenge of leading the group and find it fun to watch those players grow.

Popovich is one of the best coaches in NBA history, having posted a 1,344-701 record over his career that includes five NBA titles. If anyone can help this young group succeed, it's him.