NBA, social media congratulate Spurs’ Gregg Popovich on becoming winningest head coach

Popovich: ‘It’s not mine, it’s ours’

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, right, is hugged by guard Dejounte Murray the team's NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, March 11, 2022, in San Antonio. San Antonio won, making Popovich the winningest coach in NBA regular-season history. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Friday night was a special night for not only San Antonio Spurs fans, but for sports enthusiasts and the entire NBA.

Gregg Popovich became the NBA’s all-time winningest head coach — with 1,336 regular-season wins — when the Spurs beat the Utah Jazz 104-102.

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By doing so, he eclipsed his mentor and former boss Don Nelson. Popovich had tied Nelson on Monday night when the Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers at home.

After the Spurs’ win on Friday, Nelson had a few words for the Spurs legend.

“I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of all your accomplishments and the wonderful things you’ve done for basketball worldwide,” Nelson said in a video posted by the Spurs and Golden State Warriors.

“But I’m most proud of what you’re about to accomplish now which is put me in second place in all-time wins.”

Nelson added that he “couldn’t wait” for the record-breaking day to come, and said he considers Popovich one of his best friends.

Of course, the cool Coach Pop gave much of the credit to Nelson, his team and “a whole lot of people” after the game.

“All the wonderful players, coaches, and 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,” he said. “It’s not mine, it’s ours, here in the city, because of all the people I just mentioned. That’s the joy of it.”

Current and former Spurs players like Manu Ginobili, Dejounte Murray, Tre Jones, Steve Kerr, Brent Barry and Michael Finley all took to Twitter to congratulate the G.O.A.T.

But even if you’re not a Spurs player or fan, the accomplishment is something to respect — and that’s what people on social media did last night.

Here’s how NBA teams and players, sports enthusiasts, and San Antonio businesses reacted to the accomplishment on social media.

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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