SJ - August 25, 2020
The Brooklyn Nets are searching for their next head coach and they have their sights set on landing a high profile coach. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Nets and star Kevin Durant want to hire Gregg Popovich.
KD wanted to play for Pop all the way back in his OKC days. And there's also a connection with general manager Sean Marks, who played for and worked as an assistant for Popovich in San Antonio.
From Larry Brown Sports:
Popovich is a “favorite” of Durant and has been for years, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Durant reportedly dreamed of Popovich coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder before they hired Bill Donovan back in 2015. There is said to be “tremendous mutual respect” between Durant and Popovich.
Kyrie Irving appears to be on board, too. ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan wrote on Sunday that Durant and Irving want the Nets to hire a high-profile coach like Popovich or Tyronn Lue.
Popovich is considered one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time, and many star players would welcome the opportunity to play under him. It’s no surprise that the Nets want to hire him, though there has been no real indication that Pop is open to leaving the San Antonio Spurs.
Nets GM Sean Marks played for Popovich in San Antonio and later worked under him as an assistant. Interim head coach Jacque Vaughn and assistant coach Tiago Splitter also played for Popovich, so there are plenty of connections there. However, the comments Marks made about Popovich last month make it seem like the Nets know hiring him is a true long shot.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 24, 2020
There are plenty of reasons for Popovich to leave San Antonio at this point in his career. Getting to coach KD in Brooklyn could be a pretty good reason.
Whether or not he actually leaves the Spurs and whether or not he ends up with the Nets might be easier said than done.
There's also the fact that Popovich would have to coach Kyrie Irving. That might throw a wrench into things, nobody in their right mind would want to coach him.