SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The San Antonio Spurs rewarded coach-general manager Gregg Popovich with a three-year contract extension through the 2005-06 season Monday.
The San Antonio Express-News says the deal is estimated to be worth about $20 million and includes a reduced-salary provision each year if Popovich wants to relinquish either his front-office or coaching duties.
"Gregg Popovich has done a tremendous job in both building and guiding the San Antonio Spurs," Spurs owner Peter Holt said. "He is one of the best in the business and we're thrilled that he has agreed to this new deal. Both on and off the court, Pop has made a major impact in the community of San Antonio."
Holt made the move a year before the Spurs move into their new arena.
"As we get ready to move into this new arena, I just don't think there are many other coaches and general managers I would want at this point," Holt said.
In four-plus seasons since taking over as coach, Popovich has guided the Spurs to their only NBA title?after the lockout-abbreviated 1999 season?and a berth in last year's Western Conference finals.
Among coaches with at least 200 wins, Popovich (221-139) ranks 10th in NBA history with a .614 winning percentage. He is fourth among active coaches, trailing only Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Jerry Sloan.
Popovich has been general manager since May 1994. He named himself coach during the 1996-97 season after the team bowed out to the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 1996 playoffs.
In 1996-97, star center David Robinson was limited to just six games because of a lower back sprain, but the injury might have been a blessing in disguise. The Spurs went 20-62 and received the top pick in the 1997 NBA draft.
San Antonio selected eventual Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan, who was named Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals in just his second season.
Over the last four seasons, the Spurs have compiled a record of 204-92. Only the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz have better records in that span.
Popovich began his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Spurs in 1988, spending four seasons under Larry Brown. In 1992, he moved to Golden State and coached under Don Nelson for two years before returning to San Antonio.