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Don Nelson hopes Gregg Popovich breaks his coaching record

Spurs, Don Nelson, Gregg Popovich

Legendary head coach Don Nelson holds the record for most wins in the NBA as a coach. But in a recent interview, he expressed his hope that San Antonio Spurs icon Gregg Popovich will be able to break his record.

Nelson has a total of 1,335 wins as a coach for first place in league history. Behind him is Lenny Wilkens who has 1,332 wins. In third place is Popovich with 1,272 wins — all with the Spurs.

Speaking with Wes Goldberg of the Daily Democrat, Nelson believes that his record was just a result of the time he spent in the league. He noted, however, that not many coaches get that chance.

Now, he hopes that the Spurs tactician will surpass him soon.

“I think it’s something that just happens if you’re in the league long enough and, if you’re able to get a bunch of wins, you got a shot at it,” Don Nelson said in a phone interview last week. “But a lot of guys don’t coach that long.

“I hope he [Gregg Popovich] gets it. I hope he gets it soon.

Nelson, a former player most-known for his stint with the Boston Celtics, spent 31 years as a head coach from 1976 to 2010. He coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the Golden State Warriors (two stints), New York Knicks,  and the Dallas Mavericks. While he never won a title as a coach, he still managed to turn his team into perennial playoff contenders.

Popovich, meanwhile, is highly-regarded as one of the greatest coaches in all of sports. The 71-year-old has a total of five titles, all with the Spurs. Some say that he has slowed down especially in the 2019-20 season, but there are a number who believe that Pop still has it. One of them is Nelson.