Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will not return for Game 4 | NBA

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will not return to the bench for Game 4 of the Spurs’ first-round playoff series against the Warriors on Sunday as he continues to mourn the death of his wife, the team announced Saturday.

Assistant coach Ettore Messina will lead the Spurs in Popovich’s absence as the team tries to recover from its 3-0 deficit to the Warriors. Game 4 is set to tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET in San Antonio.

Messina also replaced Popovich on Thursday for Game 3, a 110-97 loss.

Erin Popovich, 67, died Wednesday. Details surrounding her death were not announced, but according to ESPN, she had been ill over an extended period of time.

“Erin and Gregg were married for four decades and were blessed with two children and two grandchildren,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a statement. “We mourn the loss of Erin. She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.”

Erin met Gregg in the 1970s while he served as an assistant coach at the Air Force Academy where her father was an athletic trainer. 

Messina, 58, is a former EuroLeague and Italian national team head coach who joined the Spurs’ staff in 2014.



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