San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is known as much for his berating of sideline reporters as he is for his four NBA championships. The guy just doesn’t like to talk, but reporters will be happy to hear that he even snubs his own players sometimes.
During a Q&A with the 65-year-old future Hall of Famer, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News asked Pop how he gets his players to “take ownership” of the offense.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “A lot depends on the competitiveness and the character of the player. Often times, I’ll appeal to that. Like, I can’t make every decision for you. I don’t have 14 timeouts. You guys got to get together and talk. You guys might see a mismatch that I don’t see. You guys need to communicate constantly — talk, talk, talk to each other about what’s going on on the court.
“Sometimes in timeouts I’ll say, ‘I’ve got nothing for you. What do you want me to do? We just turned it over six times. Everybody’s holding the ball. What else do you want me to do here? Figure it out.’ And I’ll get up and walk away. Because it’s true. There’s nothing else I can do for them. I can give them some bulls—, and act like I’m a coach or something, but it’s on them.”
That sounds a lot like the guy who has been known to give a two-word interview and make life miserable for sideline reporters. At least reporters now know Pop’s antics are nothing personal — he’s like that with everyone. It seems to work, so I don’t blame him for ignoring his wife and staying at it.