DeMar DeRozan reveals tear-jerker story about San Antonio Spurs legend Gregg Popovich: Is a return this summer in free agency possible?

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During a recent podcast appearance, DeMar DeRozan recalled a major moment during his time playing for San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich that will pull on the heartstrings.

Spurs legend Gregg Popovich is viewed as one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. After serving as an assistant in San Antonio for six seasons he took over the top job in 1996 and had to endure a rebuilding year with star big man David Robinson out. However, it would be 22 years before the franchise had its next losing season.

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During his iconic run with the team, he has led them to five NBA championships (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014), won Coach of the Year honors on three occasions, and was given the honor of being called one of the 15 greatest coaches in NBA history in 2021 for winning nearly 1400 games for the organization.

However, there are also many tales about the amazing human being that Popovich is and why his players love him for more than his abilities with Xs and Os. A new story was added to that legacy during a recent episode of the “25/10 Show” when former Spurs player DeMar DeRozan revealed his own moment of finding out how good a person the man known as “Pop.” is.

  • DeMar DeRozan stats (2023-24): 24.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 33% 3PT

“I’ve never told anybody this story. My [father] had passed when I was playing in San Antonio. I had called the GM like, ‘Yo bro, I’m about to fly home tonight. I’m about to try to get a plane out of here. I gotta get home. My pops just passed.,” DeRozan said. “So I called the GM. I didn’t want anybody to know. I didn’t want it to be all in the media. Literally, 90 seconds later I heard a knock at the door. It’s [Popovich].

“Pop sat in the room and cried with me for about two hours. He’s like, ‘Man I’m not leaving until you leave.’ And that just showed the person who he was,” DeRozan added. “He sat there and cried with me, bro. And what’s crazy is he’ll be mad at me telling that story. Cause he don’t want credit. He never want credit.”

Could DeMar DeRozan return to the San Antonio Spurs in free agency?

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DeRozan played three seasons in San Antonio, from 2018 to 2021, before taking his talents to the Chicago Bulls for the last three years. However, he will hit NBA free agency at the end of the month and will be available to the highest bidder.

The Spurs will have $21 million in cap space and certainly could use a talented veteran like DeRozan to play alongside and mentor burgeoning superstar Victor Wembanyama. The big question is is the six-time All-Star willing to return to a franchise still in the midst of rebuild?

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He has suggested he wants to stay in Chicago, however, he also knows his championship window is closing and would like to play on a true contender. Which may push the Spurs out of serious contention for his services. Unless the organization makes a real push to bolster the roster and he is one of two notable free agents they bring in this summer.

They have been linked to a potential trade for New Orleans Pelicans swingman Brandon Ingram and signing future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul in recent weeks.

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