Gregg Popovich will not coach the Spurs in Game 3 after passing of his wife


The San Antonio Spurs said Gregg Popovich will not coach the team at home Thursday night in Game 3 against Golden State following the death of his wife.

Ettore Messina, a Spurs assistant since 2014, will coach the team. San Antonio lost the first two games of the first-round playoff series on the road.

The Spurs announced Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. She was 67.


Popovich has coached San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. He ran the Spurs’ practice Wednesday.

San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford says the team is suffering from a profound loss.

Buford said Erin and Gregg were best friends who were together for 40 years. He says her impact on the tightknit Spurs organization will be felt for years.

Buford also said Popovich has been overwhelmed by the support he’s seen from across the NBA.

Embiid probable for Game 3

Listed as doubtful in the morning, Embiid was upgraded to probable by the 76ers on Thursday afternoon — hours before Game 3 of the Philadelphia-Miami Eastern Conference first-round series.

Embiid participated in the team’s morning shootaround, and apparently coach Brett Brown saw enough from his All-Star center to approve his return.

Embiid has missed Philadelphia’s last 10 games while recovering from a concussion and surgery that repaired a fractural orbital bone around his left eye. He’s no longer in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and took to social media after Philadelphia’s Game 2 loss to Miami to announce that he is “sick and tired of being babied.”

Translated: Embiid was declaring himself ready to play, and now the 76ers agree.

“It’s a collaborative thing with Joel and doctors and me,” Brown said. “It’s all this stuff that revolves around comfort, and feeling like we’re responsible with his health, those types of things.”


2:15 p.m.: This report has been updated with news that Joel Embiid is probable for Game 3.

This report was originally published at 9:50 a.m.