A survey by The Athletic saw nearly 41% of a total of 121 players polled would like to play for San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, if they weren't playing for their own.
- Gregg Popovich (40.9%)
- Brad Stevens (10%)
- Steve Kerr (7.8%)
- Mike D’Antoni (7.4%)
- Doc Rivers (7%)
- Mike Malone (5.3%)
- Quin Snyder (3.3%)
- Mike Budenholzer (2.4%)
- Kenny Atkinson, David Fizdale (2%)
- Terry Stotts, Fred Hoiberg (1.6%)
- Alvin Gentry (1.2%)
- Dave Joerger, Erik Spoelstra, Rick Carlisle, Brett Brown, Scott Brooks, Phil Jackson, Larry Drew, Dwane Casey (1%)
- Steve Clifford (0.5%; split vote)
Popovich, also the longest-tenured NBA coach in this list, has built a reputation for honesty, straight-forwardness, and an impeccable sense of sarcasm and dry humor with his players and fellow coaches.
While mostly under the shell of a reserved, serious-minded coach, Pop is known to break out some of the greatest laughs with those he deems close to him, like Spurs' legends Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, along with fellow coaches Steve Kerr, Brett Brown, and Mike Budenholzer; to name a few.
Other popular coaches include Boston Celtics boss Brad Stevens, Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets offensive mastermind Mike D'Antoni, and longtime player's coach Doc Rivers of the L.A. Clippers.
Fortunately for many NBA stars, they could get the chance to play for the great Popovich as part of Team USA, as plenty of names are bound to be called for this year's run in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.