Celtics, NBA offer condolences to Greg Popovich after wife passes

The game may be a way of life for many, but even for them, some things are bigger than basketball.

Family, for example, stands out as one of those things, and the Boston Celtics, NBA, and many of its players came together last night to offer San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich condolences on the passing of his wife, Erin Popovich.

Erin had been quietly battling an undisclosed illness for some time, and leaves behind her husband of four decades and their two children, Jill and Mickey

Said Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford (per ESPN's Michael C. Wright), "We mourn the loss of Erin ... she was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us." Buford's sentiments were echoed around the league, with the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James having said (again, per Wright):

"I'm a huge Pop fan. I love Pop. Such a tragedy. My best wishes go out to Pop and his family. That's devastating news. The NBA family ... we all stick together, compete every night. But something like this puts everything in perspective."

Similar words were spoken by the Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (per Wright):

"I just want Pop to know that the whole NBA family is supporting him and got his back through it all," Durant said. "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."

It is unknown whether Gregg will be available to coach the Spurs this Thursday when they face the Warriors - assistant coach Ettore Messina would be the most likely candidate to fill in should he be unavailable, a completely understandable potentiality given the circumstances. From those of us at CelticsLife, Gregg and his family are in our thoughts today.
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