Gregg Popovich Passes Rick Adelman on NBA's All-Time Wins List

Mike Norris@@MikeNorrisBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2015

San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich in an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

After leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 118-81 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday, head coach Gregg Popovich passed Rick Adelman for eighth place on the NBA's all-time wins list.

After the game, the NBA congratulated Popovich, who has won five championships with the Spurs:


With @spurs win tonight Gregg Popovich (1,043 wins) passed Rick Adelman (1,042 wins) for 8th on all-time wins list! https://t.co/jxTLD95neJ

The 66-year-old coach, known as "Pop," is 1,043-475 in his career, which accounts for the third-best winning percentage of anyone to coach at least 500 NBA games.

While Popovich is widely respected around the league, he isn't known for seeking the limelight. He didn't have much to say about his success Monday or the fact that the Spurs are 21-5 this year, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:

Tom Orsborn @tom_orsborn

Pop on flying-under-radar #Spurs, "We just do what we do. Same boring thing for 20 years. And whatever happens, happens, and we move on."

A lot has happened since he took the reins of the Spurs, the only NBA team he has coached, in 1996 and won his first championship just two years later.

The only two times his teams have not won at least 50 games during his 20-year career were his first seasonwhen he coached just 64 gamesand the strike-shortened 1998-99 season—when the Spurs won the title.

To put his achievement into perspective, he has coached the fewest games of anyone in the top 10 and trails Larry Brown for seventh place by only 55 wins despite coaching 484 fewer games.

While Popovich has to feel good about his accomplishment, the No. 1 thing on his mind is winning another championship.

While the 24-1 Golden State Warriors are the team to beat, as long as Popovich is coaching the Spurs, it would be crazy to count them out.


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