Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Gregg Popovich won't coach Game 3 after wife's death

Gregg Popovich won't coach Game 3 after wife's death

Will be updated. With AP Photos.

Popovich, the wife of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, died Wednesday after a long illness.

Kawhi Leonard's absence continues to hamper the Spurs while the Warriors will also be without Steph Curry, although the two-time MVP will travel with his team for the game. Popovich has coached San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five National Basketball Association titles. Without Popovich, the team is trying to get by as it tries to climb out of a 2-0 hole.

Messina, 58, is in his fourth season as a Spurs assistant. Craig Sager's daughter tweeted that she was "just sick" over the news.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will not coach in Thursday's Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors as he mourns the death of his wife, Erin.

"We are devastated. We are hurting", Ginobili told reporters Thursday. "But something like this puts everything in perspective". Their best player was barely around this season, and with the Spurs looking nearly certain to be knocked out of the playoffs soon by Golden State an offseason of what's next is looming. The 69-year-old coach ran practice Wednesday but will not be on the sideline for Game 3.

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In addition to his regular season debut, Messina assumed the role of head coach of the World Team in the 2016 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. 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.

One member of the Warriors did express his condolences.

Steve Kerr, coach of the Warriors and a close friend of Popovich's, declined to comment on Erin's death, reportedly too shaken to do so.

"Super sad. All of our thoughts and prayers from our whole organization are with Gregg, his family and the entire Spurs organization".

Ginobili had to contain tears at the shootaround. Pop did not want this game in any way to be about him. Asked me if I knew Erin.

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