Gregg Popovich is not going to be coaching the San Antonio Spurs in the game 4 showdown against the Golden State Warriors. Popovich will remain with his family in the aftermath of the passing of his wife Erin.
Popovich not returning for game 4 should not come as a shock to anyone considering the horrific nature of what Popovich is dealing with.
Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina will once again serve as their head coach in game 4 after serving in that same role during game 3.
ESPN is reporting that sources have told them that the Spurs have had no internal discussions about when Popovich would return to the team.
The Spurs are as classy of an organization as there exists in professional sports, and surely they realize that there are more important issues at hand than basketball right now.
Nobody within that organization would dream of pushing Popovich to return before he’s emotionally ready, which could be a long time given the circumstances.
It’s safe to assume that Popovich probably isn’t going to be returning at any point this postseason for the Spurs. The Spurs are down 3-0 against the Warriors, and no team in NBA history has ever come back to win a playoff series after being down 3-0.
The Spurs will almost certainly not be advancing, so their season will be over within the next four games of this series. That’s simply not enough time to realistically expect Popovich to be back on the sideline after enduring such a traumatic event.
He’s one of the most respected figures in not just the NBA, but the entire professional sports world. He’s a man of honor and integrity, and the outpouring of love and support he has received throughout this ordeal speaks volumes about how he’s viewed by those close to him.
We wish Pop all the best during this unimaginable tragedy. At times like these, basketball outcomes are secondary. Please continue sending all the love possible to the Popovich family during these difficult times.