Pop teaching tree contains Steve Kerr, Ime Udoka in NBA Finals

The influence of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (middle) on the NBA is profound.  From top left to right going clockwise, a look at one tree in his vast forest: Mike Brown (Sacramento head coach), Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee head coach), Monty Williams (Phoenix head coach), Steve Kerr (Golden State head coach) , Ime Udoka (Boston head coach), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia head coach), Sam Presti (Oklahoma City GM), Taylor Jenkins (Memphis head coach) and Sean Marks (Brooklyn GM).  Illustration by Michael Wagstaffe.  (Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports)

The affect of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (center) on the NBA is profound. From high left to proper going clockwise, a take a look at one tree in his huge forest: Mike Brown (Sacramento head coach), Mike Budenholzer (Milwaukee head coach), Monty Williams (Phoenix head coach), Steve Kerr (Golden State head coach) , Ime Udoka (Boston head coach), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia head coach), Sam Presti (Oklahoma Metropolis GM), Taylor Jenkins (Memphis head coach) and Sean Marks (Brooklyn GM). (Michael Wagstaffe/Yahoo Sports activities)

This 12 months’s NBA Finals is a battle of Gregg Popovich proteges, with former participant Steve Kerr on the helm for the Golden State Warriors and former assistant coach, who additionally suited up for Popovich, Ime Udoka main the Boston Celtics.

By month’s finish, a former Popovich participant will win a hoop as a coach. His management is plain.

Earlier than Recreation 1 of the Finals, commissioner Adam Silver sounded off on Popovich’s legacy: “Thanks, Gregg Popovich. He virtually runs an academy there [in San Antonio] for future coaches, and never simply coaches however workforce executives. He is completed a implausible job.”

Popovich is the longest-tenured coach with the identical workforce amongst all of main skilled sports activities’ 122 franchises (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). He’s the winningest coach in NBA historical pasttogether with 5 championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014), making him one in all three lively coaches within the league with a number of Finals titles.

Popovich’s legacy will be gleaned from his huge and profitable teaching tree. Seven lively NBA head coaches stem from Popovich’s tutelage in San Antonio. Getting into the season, that group included former head coaches Quin Snyder (Utah Jazz) and James Borrego (Charlotte Hornets).

An enormous community of assistant head coaches embrace the Celtics’ Will Hardy, the Brooklyn Nets’ Jacque Vaughn and Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Prunty.

Even two present basic managers — the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder’s Sam Presti and Nets’ Sean Marks — fall within the Popovich rainforest.

Popovich additionally introduced Becky Hammon into the Spurs’ teaching fold, the primary lady to educate a serious American males’s skilled sports activities workforce after he was ejected from a sport in December. Hammon now coaches the Las Vegas Aces within the WNBA, who boasts a league-best 10-2 document.

This is a look at every of the present NBA head coaches who department off the Popovich tree:

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 29: Head coach Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks (R) speaks with Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 during the third quarterback against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on March 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Mike Budenholzer helped lead Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks to Milwaukee’s first NBA title since 1971. (Picture by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Photographs)

Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks

Budenholzer labored beneath Popovich as an assistant in San Antonio, the place the Spurs reached the NBA Finals 5 instances (and received 4) between 1996 and 2013. Earlier than touchdown in Milwaukee, Budenholzer served because the Atlanta Hawks’ head coach from 2013-18.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics speaks to his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 02, 2022 in San Francisco, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W Henderson/Getty Images)

The Celtics’ Ime Udoka is 2 finals wins away from a dream season for a rookie head coach. (Picture by Thearon W Henderson/Getty Photographs)

Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics

Udoka performed two seasons for Popovich in San Antonio and served as an assistant coach for the Spurs’ back-to-back Finals appearances in 2013 and 2014.

The primary-year head coach stated his mentor left a “good voicemail” for him after the Celtics made the Finals, however after seeing firsthand how a lot Popovich had been “bothered” by his former assistants through the postseason, Udoka stated he has made a degree to not hound his former coach.

May 11, 2022;  Memphis, Tennessee, USA;  Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins talks to his team during a timeout against the Golden State Warriors during game five of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at FedExForum.  Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Taylor Jenkins has led Memphis to the playoffs in two of his three seasons with the Grizzlies. (Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies

Jenkins, 37, began his NBA profession as an intern within the Spurs’ entrance workplace. By 30, Jenkins had already been named the top coach of the Spurs’ G League affiliate, and took the job as Memphis’ head coach at 34 after working a stint as one in all Budenholzer’s assistants in Atlanta.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 04: Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Monty Williams had one other profitable common season with the Phoenix Suns as their head coach. (Picture by Christian Petersen/Getty Photographs)

Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns

Williams, this season’s NBA Coach of the 12 monthswas a Spurs participant throughout Popovich’s first two years on the helm, and a training intern throughout San Antonio’s championship 2004-05 season.

Underneath Williams’ management, Phoenix boasted the league’s greatest common season document (64-18, probably the most wins and highest profitable proportion, .780, in franchise historical past) earlier than falling to the Mavericks within the convention semifinals.

TOKYO, JAPAN August 7: Gregg Popovich, head coach of the United States team on the sideline with assistant coaches Jay Wright and Steve Kerr during the France V USA basketball final for men at the Saitama Super Arena during the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games on August 7, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Steve Kerr (center), pictured with Gregg Popovich (proper) on the Tokyo Video games in 2021 main Workforce USA, is on the lookout for NBA championship No. 4 as head coach of the soldiers. (Picture by Tim Clayton/Corbis by way of Getty Photographs)

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors

Kerr performed for Popovich from 1998-2003 in San Antonio. The 2 additionally coached collectively in Tokyo, the place Workforce USA received gold, and Kerr was named Popovich’s alternative as the top coach of the boys’s nationwide workforce in Dec.

This 12 months makes six NBA Finals appearances as a coach for Kerr and an opportunity for a fourth championship. He was the league’s 2015-16 Coach of the 12 months.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was a player in San Antonio when Gregg Popovich was the general manager.  (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was a participant in San Antonio when Gregg Popovich was the overall supervisor. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Doc Rivers, Philadelphia 76ers

Rivers performed his last two NBA seasons in San Antonio from 1994 to 1996, when Popovich was the workforce’s basic supervisor and earlier than he took over as its head coach. Rivers was a member of the Spurs’ broadcast workforce in 1999, Popovich’s third season on the helm, and reportedly virtually his final after his championship-caliber squad opened the shortened lockout season 6-8. There was a sense that Rivers can be known as to interchange Popovich ought to the workforce not enhance. As historical past got here to know, San Antonio improved to 37-13 on the season and received its first NBA title.

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 31: Head coach of the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich greets assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors Mike Brown at the end of regulation but the game was not over at AT&T Center on December 31, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Head coach of the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich greets assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors Mike Brown in a December 2019 sport. (Picture by Ronald Cortes/Getty Photographs)

Mike Brown, Sacramento Kings

Earlier than head-coaching stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, Brown was an assistant beneath Popovich from 2000-03. In that last season in San Antonio, the Spurs received a championship. Brown would finally lose to Popovich within the NBA Finals in 2007 as head coach of LeBron James and the Cavaliers. He’s at present ending up his run with the Warriors as an assistant earlier than main the Kings subsequent season.

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