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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

Don Nelson shares message for Gregg Popovich after being surpassed

Don Nelson

Don Nelson shared an endearing message for Gregg Popovich after being surpassed by the San Antonio Spurs head coach on the all-time wins list in NBA history.

The Spurs beat the Utah Jazz 104-102 on Friday night to give Popovich career win number 1,336 (his team really loved the celebration). That is one more than Nelson, who was the previous winningest coach in NBA history.

Nelson is close with Popovich and recorded a sweet message for the Spurs coach upon the occasion of having his record surpassed.

“I just wanted to tell you how proud I am of all your accomplishments and the wonderful things you’ve done for basketball worldwide. But I’m most proud of what you’re about to accomplish now, which is to put me in second place in all-time wins. I’m so proud of you to do it. I couldn’t want for this day to happen. … I just wish you the best for your remaining years in the NBA,” Nelson said.

Popovich coached on Nelson’s Golden Warriors staff in 1992 before returning to the Spurs organization in a front office leadership position, where he eventually made himself head coach.

Unlike Nelson, who coached four teams over five stints (twice with the Warriors), Popovich earned all of his wins with just one team: the Spurs. Popovich also has won five championships compared to none for Nelson. However, both men were three-time coaches of the year.

Photo: Sean P. Anderson/Flickr via CC BY 2.0

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