Ettore Messina to Coach Spurs vs. Warriors After Death of Gregg Popovich's Wife

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2018

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Assistant Ettore Messina will lead the San Antonio Spurs' coaching staff for Game 3 of their playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night after head coach Gregg Popovich's wife, Erin Popovich, died Wednesday.

Spurs PR confirmed the news, per Cayleigh Griffin of Fox Sports Southwest.

General manager R.C. Buford released a statement Wednesday.

"We mourn the loss of Erin," he said. "She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us."

San Antonio's announcement noted the Popoviches were "married for four decades and were blessed with two children and two grandchildren."

The Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and Warriors' Kevin Durant were among the NBA superstars at a loss for words after hearing the news:

The Spurs trail the Warriors 2-0 in the first-round series. Game 3 is scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. ET tip Thursday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

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