Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, died early Wednesday, the team announced. She was 67 and had been battling an illness for an extended period.
The couple was married for four decades and had two children -- Jill and Mickey -- as well as two grandchildren.
"We mourn the loss of Erin," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. "She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us."
Erin and Gregg Popovich got married while he worked as an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy from 1973 to 1979. Erin's father, Jim Conboy, was a former athletic trainer for the Falcons.
The Spurs next play Thursday night at home against the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their first-round series. It was not immediately known whether their 69-year-old head coach would be with the team, and the Spurs asked that the media respect the family's privacy.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant learned of Erin Popovich's death shortly after the Spurs released their statement.
"I just want Pop to know that the whole NBA family is supporting him and got his back through it all," Durant said. "It's bigger than the game. It's bigger than winning and losing. It's about the brotherhood we built as NBA players and everybody in the NBA family. I feel so bad for Pop and his family. That's just tough to hear about."
James became emotional, telling TNT, "I'm a huge Pop fan. I love Pop. Such a tragedy. My best wishes go out to Pop and his family. That's devastating news. The NBA family ... we all stick together, compete every night. But something like this puts everything in perspective."
LeBron James gets emotional and sends out his thoughts and prayers to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs after hearing about the news of Popovich's wife dying.
Popovich ran the Spurs' practice Wednesday. Assistant coach Ettore Messina would likely lead the Spurs if Popovich were to miss Game 3.