The San Antonio Spurs inked head coach Gregg Popovich to a reported five-year extension last summer, and by all accounts, the 66-year-old legend intends to honor the entire pact.
ESPN sources say that Gregg Popovich, as of now, is intent on coaching out his entire five-year contract that he signed last summer
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2015
It has now come to light that Pop underwent two heart procedures in 2014, resulting in a couple of missed games.
According to Popovich’s good friend Larry Brown, the NBA’s premiere coach seriously contemplated retirement.
Per The Express-News (via PBT):
Popovich has been well compensated during his NBA career, and he loves to coach. But he has always insisted he has other interests, from politics to wine to travel, and that he was going to experience them without a 24-second clock marking time. […] “You can’t live without basketball,” Popovich has told Larry Brown. “I think I can.”
His hip surgery had gone well, but there was a hiccup with a heart condition that was not unlike the atrial fibrillation that Fab Oberto had. Popovich underwent a procedure, and, after he had done everything the doctors had asked, palpitations returned. […] Brown says the episode occurred during the preseason tour in Europe. That eventually culminated with Popovich missing two games in late November for a second procedure.
“I really believe he was close to retiring then,” Brown said.