High-Priced Struggles: Popovich and Wiliams Face Tough Seasons Despite Hefty Salaries



by SEDEDIN DEDOVIC

High-Priced Struggles: Popovich and Wiliams Face Tough Seasons Despite Hefty Salaries
© Justin Tafoya / Getty Images

The NBA's two highest-paid coaches, Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Monty Williams of the Detroit Pistons, have a combined total of just six points this season. The rarity of this situation becomes even more pronounced when you consider their large salaries, making them the highest paid in the league.

Of course, we don't want to belittle the quality of already proven coaches, but this season their teams are very difficult to win points. As of now, Popovich's Spurs are languishing at the bottom of the Western Conference with a dismal 4-21 record.

Meanwhile, Williams' Pistons are faring even worse in the Eastern Conference, holding a 2-24 record and enduring a painful 23-game losing streak. This harsh reality is in stark contrast to Williams' successful tenure with the Phoenix Suns, where he led the team to the NBA Finals just two years ago.

Detroit is a very young team with many inexperienced players, and we will see if the coach just needs a little more time to establish some consistency in the games.

Twice the best coach of the year

Williams took over coaching duties for the Pistons this summer, aiming to elevate them from mediocrity.

However, the team's performance has only worsened, with no clear signs of a turnaround in the near future. Despite being named Coach of the Year for two consecutive seasons (2020, 2021), Williams was out of a job after the Suns fired him following their playoff elimination by Denver.

Interestingly, Williams is the league's second-highest paid coach, earning a whopping $13 million per season. At the top of the list is the legendary Gregg Popovich, who has an even higher salary of $16 million. Despite being a five-time NBA champion and a cornerstone of the Spurs for 22 years, Popovic has faced a lack of success in recent seasons.

Even with the addition of the promising Victor Vembanyama, there is little indication that this trend will reverse this season. The third highest paid coach in the league, Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors, keeps his team in a good rhythm, and Curry and the team are doing well on the floor and in the standings.