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Gregg Popovich signs five-year extension to stay on as Spurs coach

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 9: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 9, 2023 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Only Gregg Popovich will decide when Gregg Popovich retires.

That will not be this year for the 74-year-old Hall of Famer, who signed a five-year extension to stay on as coach and president of basketball operations, the team announced. The deal is for $80 million over those five years, moving Popovich back past Monty Williams to be the highest-paid coach in the league again, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN .

Will Popovich stay on to coach all five years? Probably not, but refer back to the first sentence of this story to discuss timing. When you are a five-time champion considered one of the greatest coaches of all time, you can choose when to step off the stage. Reports from those close to Popovich say he has been re-energized the past couple of seasons as the Spurs rebuild as he is back to the kind of hands-on, player development, teaching the game kind of coaching he prefers (as opposed to the ego management that can come with coaching a contender). Add in the chance to help mold Victor Wembanyama and it is not a surprise he will be back on the sidelines.

Because Popovich is the head of the Spurs’ basketball operations, he could step away from coaching and still finish out the contract in the front office.

If that happens, it will be because Popovich chose it.