Popovich assistant takes new job with Washington

The Spurs are losing popular assistant coach Don Newman to the Washington Wizards, where he will serve as the top assistant under coach Randy Wittman.

The Wizards announced Newman’s hiring on the team’s website Monday.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he was sad to see Newman leave but happy his aide is receiving the opportunity.

“I’m really happy for him,” Popovich said. “There’s some added responsibility there, so it’s moving in a direction he deserves, and that means added responsibility. He’s able to show in another venue what he can do.

“Don’s not just a hard worker and someone who gets along with players. He is really knowledgeable and understands the game in every way. They’re getting a seasoned individual to add to their group.”

Newman had been with the Spurs for seven seasons and served as the team’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons. He began his NBA coaching career with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1999 as an assistant under George Karl. He joined the New Jersey Nets staff in 2003 and was added to the Spurs’ staff in June 2004.

Newman played college basketball at Idaho and was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1980.

A multi-sport athlete, he played three seasons in the Continental Basketball Association before moving to the Canadian Football League, where he played seven seasons as a defensive back.


Twitter: @Monroe_SA

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