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News » Popovich reaches milestone in loss

Popovich reaches milestone in loss

Popovich reaches milestone in loss
OKLAHOMA CITY - Few coaches in the NBA are as allergic to personal praise as the Spurs' Gregg Popovich.

So it should come as no surprise that he didn't even know Monday's game against the Thunder marked a milestone in his coaching career.

The game was Popovich's 1,000th as a head coach, making him the 24th in NBA history to join that club. He is one of only seven to accomplish the feat with one team.

Asked before the game if he attached any significance to the achievement, Popovich was momentarily confused by the question.

"I didn't know," he said. "So no, I guess I don't."

Upon further contemplation, however, Popovich did attach some meaning to the night.

"It means having a good owner, a good GM and good players equals longevity in the NBA," Popovich said.

Such longevity is rare these days. Eight NBA coaches have been fired just this season.

Oklahoma City interim coach Scott Brooks was the beneficiary of one such ax job, elevated to the head chair after the Thunder dumped P.J. Carlesimo in November.

Brooks, who has all of 54 games on his NBA head-coaching r?sum?, said he was honored to be on the opposite bench for Popovich's 1,000th.

"You're talking about one of the best coaches in all sports," Scott said. "I admire the fact that he gets his guys ready every game, and they're very consistent in their approach."

The Spurs lost Popovich's milestone game, 78-76. Even so, Popovich has won a bigger share of his first 1,000 games (676) than anyone other than Phil Jackson and Pat Riley.

Up the charts: Tim Duncan is moving up the NBA's all-time statistical charts. With 14 points Monday, Duncan passed Reggie Theus into the 42nd spot on the scoring list.

Duncan, who passed Dale Ellis in Saturday's victory at Houston, has scored 19,027 points in his career.

Meanwhile, Duncan's 12 rebounds Saturday pushed him past Bill Laimbeer for 30th on the NBA charts with 10,409.

Hook 'em: Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, the national collegiate player of the year in his one season at Texas, barely missed a reunion with some of his former teammates last week.

The Longhorns were in town for the Big 12 tournament, played at the Ford Center, and even used the Thunder locker room for one of their games. Durant and the Thunder, however, were on a three-game Western road swing.

"We left right before they got here," Durant said. "It was tough not to see those guys, and to see them lose."

UT dropped out in the tournament semifinals, losing to Baylor for the first time since 1998.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 18, 2009


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