Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/27/13
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With coach Mike Krzyzewski retiring from Team USA basketball, the organization needs a replacement. There's some names being thrown around, but there's only one coach that deserves the nod.  San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich has the resume for the job and more than qualified for the position compared to his competition for the job. Pop's four NBA championships and consecutive winning seasons throughout his career in San Antonio should be enough to push him over the top. Accomplishments that other coach's can only strive for and past coaches wishing they could have accomplished. Ben Golliver from SI.com makes the perfect pitch for Pop in an article. There’s no good reason to pass over the NBA’s most accomplished current coach for the national team’s head spot. Popovich’s rosters have been dotted with players with international experience, he’s coaxed improvement and effort from both star players and role guys for years, he’s a master of juggling personalities, and the Spurs have enjoyed offensive success thanks in large part to ball movement and three-point shooting, key factors in international play. It’s difficult to imagine a more qualified candidate. We saw a glimpse of Pop's laid back attitude during the All-Star Game. Some may argue that the game didn't have much meaning, it's important that Popovich has a deep respect for the game of basketball and takes every game seriously while having fun at the same time. He's had the experience as a Team USA assistant coach under Larry Brown. That year the team underachieved and while he's from the "Larry Brown school of coaching," Pop is a much better handler of personalities and egos as we've seen in San Antonio. He brings out the best out of his players while keeping them humble and keeping control of situations. The other coaches that may be in consideration can't say the same thing. Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Miami Heat coach Eric Spoeltra may be the next two popular choices in the mix, but Rivers lacks the success that Pop brings in and Spoelstra may lack the discipline to take on the personalities that will be handed to him. Rivers' coaching career was mostly forgettable and underachieving before the Celtics acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to form a "Big 3" with Paul Pierce. Spoelstra has seemed to handle the egos of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, but it's still unknown how much influence he does have on the team and how much pull he's given his stars. That's what separates Pop from the other coaches. He's versatile in coaching as he is in his personality to adapt to other players' skills to make the system work instead of forcing players to adjust to his system. The proof of this is comparing the old Spurs teams from 4 years ago and before that to the teams of the past two years. Pop has adjusted to the NBA while keeping the same mentality he's always had on defense and changing the system to fit his aging players while helping the younger Spurs develop throughout the season. He's the best coach that can adapt to every personality and create a system for the upcoming Team USA squad. He's the only coach of the modern era of the NBA, an era filled with egos and players who tend to force the hand of organization's to do their bidding, to create a humble environment in San Antonio that every team is trying to duplicate. If there's any doubt about that, his coaching of the greatest power forward of all time is the perfect example. He's treated Tim Duncan the same way he treats the last guy on the bench and it might be an experience the current order of NBA superstars may need for their respective careers. Popovich is the clear choice on who should coach Team USA next, whether that actually happens is a different discussion.
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