"Nobody here should go to Vegas with the thought of betting on us to win that championship," Popovich quipped at the team's media day, garnering chuckles from reporters.
Popovich, who's entering his 27th year as head coach of the Spurs, emphasized that his goal right now is to develop players rather than expect a championship season.
Listed regular season win totals @PointsBetUSA 🏀— NBABet (@nbabet) July 16, 2022
51.5: MEM, MIL
50.5: PHI, GSW, DEN
47.5: ATL, DAL
41.5: CLE, CHI, POR
27.5: HOU, ORL
25.5: IND, OKC
23.5: SAS pic.twitter.com/BeOMVGLH24
"The point is to develop this group and give them the best possible opportunity to have long NBA careers and enjoy the hell out of it," Popovich said. "And whoever comes after me will have an opportunity to take them to the next level."
It's unclear whether the 76-year-old league veteran was hinting at retirement in that statement. However, he did mention to Express-News sports reporter Tom Orsborn that his "paycheck" is what drove him to return to the Spurs coaching staff year after year.
Pop on what drives him to return year after year: “…My paycheck.”— Tom Orsborn (@tom_orsborn) September 26, 2022
Noticeably absent from Popovich's press conference was any mention of former Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka, who was suspended from his role as the head coach of the Boston Celtics last week after he was discovered to have been involved in an intimate relationship with a Celtics staffer.
Popovich also didn't mention anything about Lakers Point Guard Russel Westbrook. The Spurs are rumored to be one of the top contenders for a trade that could bring the NBA All-Star to the Alamo City.
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