Report: Gregg Popovich had hip-replacement surgery

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The San Antonio Spurs are getting old.

We’ve heard that sentiment for years, but it’s difficult to find proof.

Tim Duncan plays like he drank from the Fountain of Youth. Manu Ginobili still isn’t ready to give up his summers. Tony Parker (just 32!) is always younger than I remember. And Kawhi Leonard and young supporting crew keep San Antonio spry.

Finally, though, here’s evidence here’s evidence of the Spurs aging.

John Canzano of The Oregonian went on a mission to track down Popovich during his visit to an Oregon vineyard. He didn’t find the Spurs coach, but he dug up an interesting piece of information (emphasis mine):

I did not encounter Popovich in person during his visit. I did find a trail of his appreciation and love for wine after he departed. He dined over the weekend at The Painted Lady in Newberg. Last Sunday evening, for a $750 charity donation, you could have joined a private gathering at Rex Hill that featured Popovich and Rex Hill winemaker Sam Tannahill.

It was a reception and Italian dinner, and probably well worth every penny given that Popovich stood, acknowledging his discomfort from his postseason hip replacement surgery, and said a few words to the crowd about wines. Also, Popovich pledged that he’d match everyone’s donations from the evening.

It often gets overlooked, but coaching is a physical activity. Coaches’ careers outlast players’, but they don’t extend forever. Phil Jackson might still be coaching if not for his heath concerns.

Popovich signed a contract extension this summer, and hopefully he can continue coaching as long as he desires. But like Duncan, Ginobili and Parker, the challenge only becomes greater with time.