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Gregg Popovich hits landmark win total

Gregg Popovich San Antonio
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich became the winningest coach in NBA history following his team’s 104-102 win over the Utah Jazz.

It gave Popovich win number 1,336, surpassing his long-time friend, Don Nelson for most regular season wins.

“It’s just a testament to a whole lot of people,” Popovich said.

“Something like this does not belong to one individual. Basketball’s a team sport. You preach to your players that they have to do it together and that’s certainly been the case in my life with all the wonderful players and coaches, the staff that I’ve been blessed with, the support of this wonderful city. The fans support us no matter what.

“All of us share in this record. It’s not mine. It’s ours, here in the city.”

The Spurs tweeted a video from Nelson, congratulating Popovich, telling him how proud he is of his former assistant’s accomplishments “and all the wonderful things you’ve done for basketball, worldwide.”

“I’m so proud of you for doing it,” Nelson said.

“I couldn’t wait for this day to happen. And I just want you to know as one of my best friends in life I just wish you the best for your remaining years in the NBA.”

Popovich is currently in his 26th season with the San Antonio Spurs, the longest tenure of any head coach in all four of the U.S. major sports leagues. He also led Team USA at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Gregg Popovich’s success with the Spurs is unprecedented in our league so it’s only fitting that he now holds the record for most career wins,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“His leadership and unwavering commitment to the game are widely admired by generations of players and coaches alike. Congratulations to Coach Pop on this latest achievement in his legendary career.”

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