Players, coaches, and TV analysts offered their condolences to the beloved, grumpy icon.
On April 18, the San Antonio Spurs organization announced the death of Erin Popovich, the wife of coach Gregg Popovich, following a protracted illness.
Personalities throughout the NBA and the sports world sent messages of sympathy and condolences to the famously grumpy NBA icon. Though Popovich was notoriously terse in press conferences and interviews, he is widely considered — beyond his gruff exterior — a warm man who stands up for what he believes, especially in the realms of politics and social progress.
Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, whom the Spurs are currently facing in the playoffs, spoke glowingly of his memory of Gregg and Erin.
Steve Kerr on Erin Popovich ... remembers when he was traded to #Blazers .. how Pop told him he probably couldn’t g… https://t.co/VngjuGzEfy— Jabari Young (@Jabari Young) 1524157181
A transcript of his remarks (via FTW):
“Pop might be the most admired man in the NBA, for many reasons, and there’s an outpouring of support and grief from everybody around the league. Especially for those of us who were a part of the Spurs family, who have been so impacted by Pop and Erin over the years.
[I] knew her well. She was close with my wife when I played here. Erin was sort of the balance that Pop needed. I still remember when he traded me to Portland, 2001, he called me up to tell me the news. He said ‘I don’t think I can go home because Erin’s going to be so mad at me for trading you.'”
The roster of those sending their thoughts to Popovich reads as a veritable “who’s who” in the NBA, past and present.
The San Antonio Spurs created a tribute video to Greg and Erin’s 40 years of love.
https://t.co/A8sXw3Ofv3— San Antonio Spurs (@San Antonio Spurs) 1524166691
LeBron James spoke of his heartbreak in learning the news, but also addressed the misconception that a reporter had surprised him with the news during a postgame interview.
I can’t imagine what Coach Popovich is going through, but I am lifting up prayers you and your family. 🙏🏽 https://t.co/PMezvqWlcL— Stephen Curry (@Stephen Curry) 1524117336
The crew at TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio show, who often mock Popovich’s demeanor, passed on condolences to the grieving coach.
The TNT family mourns the loss of Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich. https://t.co/UnWl3eXi6b— NBA on TNT (@NBA on TNT) 1524099059
Knowing Pop, it’s fair to assume Erin Popovich was an absolute legend. My deepest sympathies to Pop and his daughters.— Steve Nash (@Steve Nash) 1524099039
Popovich was absent from the team’s April 19 game against the Golden State Warriors, and no timeline has been set for his return. He has not made a public statement in the wake of Erin’s death.