Coach Popovich has been named the next head coach for the United States Olympic basketball team, for the 2020 Tokyo Games. While for most people, this seems like a no brainer, a simple choice, as he is one of the greatest coaches of all time and easily one of the most respected by players - whether his own, or opposing. Coach Pop sits 8th all time in regular season wins for an NBA coach, with 1,089, and he is 3rd in win percentage, with .692%, and its the same story for his playoff coaching career, where he stands in 3rd place, only trailing the 6 time champ, and fellow 5 time champ, Phil Jackson & Pat Riley. Pop has led the Spurs to 5 championships in 20 seasons, and has earned every one of them. Through his unique coaching style, of emphasizing defense and never letting a player take on a role bigger than the team, he has found success in every changing NBA trend, from dominant bigs to the 3-point takeover. But what Pop never had, was the chance to represent the USA at the Olympics, in the way he had always dreamed. Pop played basketball for the Air Force Academy, and in his senior year was their leading scorer, and was overlooked for the 1972 Olympic team after being one of the final cuts made, due to the politics that took over the try-outs as each member of the selection committee wanted only to have their players make the team, not the top performers. Pop's second fall from Olympic grace was the 2004 disaster, where he was an assistant to Larry Brown and the young, unprepared group of players that they took to Greece, and found themselves losing to Argentina in the semifinals and having to play for Bronze, not Gold. That is the only USA Men's team to not win Gold since the introduction of professional players to the Olympics in 1989 (first games played were the 1992 games, as we all know, The Dream Team). From 1992 - 2016, the US has won every gold, but 2004. And in the eye's of the US Olympic Committee, Pop, had to take some of the blame. He was left out of consideration for 2008 and Coach K took over and has coached the men to 3 straight Gold Medals, but after winning his third this summer in Rio, he has decided to step down. And now, it is Pop's turn. Pop will be 70 in 2020, and has said that he has been working out everyday so that by the time they leave for Tokyo, he will be in better shape than his players, in typical Pop form.
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Djack- Chief editor