Allen Iverson has immense appreciation for the leader of the San Antonio Spurs
As he made his way from Hampton, Virginia to the Hall of Fame, Allen Iverson was coached by some of the greatest to ever do it. Never one to hold back, Iverson recently shared his appreciation for the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, the great Gregg Popovich.
Popovich wasn’t the only coaching legend to impact Iverson. He also got to learn from the late John Thompson at Georgetown and Larry Brown in the NBA. Those two probably had larger impacts on Iverson’s life but that didn’t stop AI from showing Popovich some appreciation.
Gregg Popovich had a limited but important impact on Allen Iverson
Popovich only got to work with Iverson when he was an assistant coach for Team USA during the 2004 Olympics but he was always supportive of Iverson. Appearing on All the Smoke with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, Iverson talked about Popovich in passing.
When talking about the Brooklyn Nets recent hire of Steve Nash, Iverson wished the best for Nash, hoping that he can have a “Gregg Popovich – Larry Brown type of influence.”[embedded content]
This just speaks to the enormity of the impact that Popovich has had on the NBA and how well respected he is around the league. Even though he never got to work with Iverson in the league he was still able to have an impact on his life and earn his appreciation by encouraging him from afar.
This is the part of Popovich that is so special. X’s and O’s aside, the impact that he’s able to have on his player’s lives on a deeper level is so important and deserves to get the recognition that it does. It could also be part of what’s keeping him in the league.
People speculate about Pop leaving the Spurs to go coach another team that’s closer to winning a title but it actually seems like he enjoys mentoring the young San Antonio Spurs and helping them grow as young men as well as basketball players. And at this point in his career, and with his resume, he’s probably thinking about the real-life impacts he can have more than padding his trophy case.
They both had a tremendous impact in different ways but it’s great to see the mutual respect and appreciation shared between Gregg Popovich and Allen Iverson.