Messina to coach Game 3 in wake of Erin Popovich's death.
The San Antonio Spurs have officially announced that Gregg Popovich will not coach tonight following his wife Erin's death. Assistant coach Ettore Messina will lead the coach staff in Pop's absence.
Erin Popovich passed away at 67 years old last night following an extended illness. The couple was married for four decades and had two children, Jill and Mickey, as well as two grandchildren.
"We mourn the loss of Erin," Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. "She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us."
Several NBA players, coaches and members of the media mourned the loss of Erin after the news broke, including LeBron James, who reacted following Cleveland's Game 2 victory, and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant. KD learned of Erin Popovich's death shortly after the Spurs released their statement.
"I just want Pop to know that the whole NBA family is supporting him and got his back through it all," Durant said, per ESPN. "It's bigger than the game. It's bigger than winning and losing. It's about the brotherhood we built as NBA players and everybody in the NBA family. I feel so bad for Pop and his family. That's just tough to hear about."
The Spurs head into tonight's Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors down 0-2 in the series. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30pm ET - the game will air on TNT.