Gregg Popovich will let one of his assistants take the lead in an upcoming preseason game.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
Gregg Popovich is known for removing key players from big games during the regular season, knowing the big picture is more important than one night of basketball. It allows his stars to rest, and gives his bench meaningful experience against an opposing team’s starting lineup.
For the second year in a row, Popovich will circle that strategy on himself and stay in San Antonio for an upcoming preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, per Yahoo! Sports:
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich also didn't make trip to Sac for preseason opener as they will be coached by assistant Ettore Messina,source says
This is unusual by NBA standards, if not those of the Spurs, but assistant coach Ettore Messina could be a candidate as San Antonio’s full-time head coach once Popovich decides to retire (whenever that will be). So from that perspective, it makes sense to give the Italian some useful experience.
Also, this is the preseason, so, you know, whatever. Popovich can do what he wants.