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Time for Popovich to get his due

SAN ANTONIO -- Maybe after winning his second championship, the public will realize just how great a coach Gregg Popovich is.

Popovich's style and demeanor perfectly fits the San Antonio Spurs. This is an understated team and he is an understated coach. Think about it, when asked who's a great coach most people would come up with five or six guys before Popovich's name even crossed their mind. Names like Jeff Van Gundy and Larry Brown -- two guys who don't have NBA championship rings -- would pop into their head before Popovich's. And that's wrong.

In the last eight years, only two coaches have won championships: Popovich and Phil Jackson. And his career playoff winning percentage ranks only behind Jackson and Pat Riley among active coaches.

When I played in the league, I had the pleasure of having him as my summer league coach and he was great. There were definite flashes of the determination and commitment to defense that has made the Spurs NBA champions yet again.

Just because he doesn't wear fancy suits and isn't a media darling doesn't mean that he isn't a great coach because he is. He took a very young team this season and took them farther than anybody thought they had a shot of going. Before the season and even during the season, the Spurs were derided because they didn't "have the experience or heart."

Well they might not have had that but now they have NBA championship rings and that's all that counts. As always, Coach Popovich had his team ready and now the city of San Antonio will be having one helluva parade Wednesday. And hopefully he'll finally get the credit that he richly deserves.