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Gregg Popovich thinks about coaching World Cup team ‘every day’

Spurs, Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich had been the United States national team’s coach for a few years, but this is the first year that he can honestly say he’s a World Cup coach.

Popovich recently told the Associated Press that while he can lobby players to come to China with him, he has no plans to do so.

“I just think that would be inappropriate for me before games to go up to one or two guys on each team and say, ‘Hey, are you going to play for us this summer? I’d really like to have you.’ He’s there to try to whip (us). He’s got a different priority that night and I think it would be inappropriate for me try to do that.”

Popovich recently gave high praise to Jeff Van Gundy for helping guide the USA team into the qualifier for the World Cup. Popovich said that Van Gundy “deserves a lot of the credit” for doing that for the team on his own.

The legendary Spurs also acknowledges the task of organizing Team USA has made for a busier Spurs season than usual. His predecessor, Mike Krzyzewski, warned Popovich the national team job would never be far from his mind.

But as he has for the past several summers, Popovich will assess his future at the end of the season. He has offered no indication of leaning toward retirement, despite duties with USA Basketball that will ramp up with the FIBA World Cup in August in China.