Gregg Popovich’s interview with Craig Sager’s son might make you cry (Video)

Gregg Popovich Craig Sager JrGregg Popovich loves to give sideline reporters a hard time for in-game interviews, but he seems to take particular pleasure in hassling TNT’s Craig Sager.

Pop has been so hard on Sager in the past that there’s been a compilation video of all the times the Spurs coach messed with the reporter.

But Sager’s son, Craig Sager Jr., announced during the week that his dad is battling leukemia. So TNT had the younger Sager fill in for his dad during Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs-Dallas Mavericks playoff series, and junior asked the coach a few questions. He got two answers, then Pop complimented him on the questions, and then Sager Jr. asked if Pop had anything he wanted to say to the elder Sager.

And, boy, did Pop come through. He delivered a really endearing message to Sager and told him how much he was missed. He even promised to be nice to him in the future!

“I promise I’ll be nice. Get back here.”

And how’s this? Pop specifically asked for Sager Jr. to interview him after the third quarter:

And if that wasn’t enough …

I guess it was all in love all along. Maybe Pop isn’t so bad after all.

Gregg Popovich takes no questions in season-ending press conference

Gregg PopovichGregg Popovich said goodbye to the regular season on Wednesday night the only way he knows how — by hardly giving writers and reporters the time of day. After his team lost a meaningless game to the Los Angeles Lakers and finished with the best record in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs coach said just 46 words.

“We had a good regular season and now the postseason starts,” Pop told reporters. “The first game is at noon on Sunday and we will see who it is. The two teams that are playing right now, so I am going to go watch them. You guys take care.”

And that was that. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News posted a photo of the entire transcript on Twitter. It looks like a second-grade essay.

Is taking no questions at all better than answering a question with just two words? Man I love this guy.

H/T SB Nation

Gregg Popovich: Patty Mills didn’t play last year because he was ‘a little fat ass’

Patty-Mills-SpursSan Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills is not a very well-known player. He has played sparingly during his NBA career and has averaged just over 15 minutes per game since joining the Spurs in 2011. Last season, Mills played 11.3 minutes per game — the lowest of his career since his rookie season.

Mills has played a bit more this year, so what changed over the course of an offseason? Take it away, Gregg Popovich.

Apparently losing a few pounds has done Mills a lot of good, because he has become an important role player for the Spurs. He has appeared in all 70 games and is averaging 9.8 points per game. No longer being a fat ass has done wonderful things for Patty’s young career.

H/T For the Win

Jalen Rose made Gregg Popovich laugh (Video)

Jalen-Rose-Gregg-PopovichESPN analyst Jalen Rose conducted his first ever sideline interview with San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Wednesday night. Most of you already understand how difficult of a task that is. And Jalen actually pulled it off.

Believe it or not, Rose even made Popovich laugh. Granted, the Spurs were leading 35-29 after the first quarter at the time of the interview. They had also won 10 games in a row at the time (11 now including last night’s win), so Rose kind of had it easy. Still, Pop liked his joke about Avery Johnson.

“I look at (Johnson’s) numbers and Doris Burke wanted me to ask you,” Rose said. “How did he get his number retired — or how much did he pay you — only averaging 10 points?”

“And he can only go left,” Pop shot back.

Johnson played several seasons under Popovich in the 1990s. Pop walked away chuckling, which is incredibly rare for an in-game interview. There’s a reason reporters do stuff like this to determine who gets to interview Pop. Rose caught him on a great night.

Gregg Popovich sometimes gives players the sideline reporter treatment during timeouts

Gregg PopovichSan 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.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Gregg Popovich gives two-word interview (Video)

Gregg-Popovich-interviewHaving to interview San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in the middle of a game is one of the most uncomfortable tasks a sports reporter can be assigned. Popovich despises talking to reporters between quarters, and that hatred is magnified when his team is losing. ESPN’s Mark Jones was his latest victim.

Jones interviewed Pop just before the fourth quarter of San Antonio’s loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. When he asked the veteran coach for his thoughts on the third quarter, he was treated to a two-word interview.

“We’re behind,” Popovich said.

And that was that. The Spurs were trailing 68-61 at the time, and Pop hates to lose. At least JA Adande was able to get more than two words out of him during his brutal interview earlier this season. Remember, reporters flip coins to see who gets to interview Popovich and he even makes Jeff Van Gundy nervous. There’s a reason for that.

Video via @cjzero

Jeff Van Gundy nervous in Gregg Popovich interview, gets a hug (Video)

Gregg Popovich hug Jeff Van GundyJeff Van Gundy knew about Gregg Popovich’s reputation for being uncooperative and rude during in-game interviews, so he was understandably nervous heading into his interview with the San Antonio Spurs coach on Wednesday night.

As Van Gundy articulated those thoughts during the interview, Pop intimidated him by demanding to know what the question was, causing Van Gundy to continue backing down. But Jeff eventually got around to the question — which was to explore Pop’s feelings — and that led the Spurs coach to break down and give Van Gundy a big ol hug.

That Pop, he’s such a sweetie. Of course, it probably helped that his Spurs were crushing the Mavericks, but that was still nice.

Video via @cjzero