Brett Brown reunites with Gregg Popovich, returns to Spurs as assistant coach

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The San Antonio Spurs are bringing in former Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown as an assistant under Gregg Popovich, the team announced Thursday afternoon. Brown rejoins Popovich’s staff after seven seasons at the helm with the Sixers, where he compiled a 221-344 record, and led the team to three playoff appearances.

Prior to getting the head-coaching job with the Sixers in 2013, Brown served as an assistant under Popovich from 2004 until he left for Philadelphia. He’s one of many coaches who got their start under Popovich, and will now return back to San Antonio.

“I’m thrilled to be able to hire such a good coach, human being and dinner partner,” Popovich said in the Spurs’ statement of Brown’s return to San Antonio. 

It’s hard to say if bringing in Brown is a move by the Spurs to prepare for a post-Popovich era, but given Brown’s extensive history with the franchise — which includes being on staff when the Spurs won their first four championships — it could be. There hasn’t been a firm timetable on when Popovich plans to retire, though with the Spurs signaling they’re official rebuild after trading away All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Hawks, the all-time winningest NBA coach may decide that he doesn’t want to go through a rebuild.

If that were to happen, Brown could be a candidate to take over for Popovich, or perhaps Quin Snyder, another coach from Popovich’s tree, who recently stepped down as head coach of the Utah Jazz. For right now, though, Popovich is in charge, and heading into next season he’ll have a familiar assistant coach on staff in Brown. 

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