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Gregg Popovich made Tony Parker cry during his rookie season

Tony Parker Gregg PopovichIf you thought Gregg Popovich’s treatment of NBA sideline reporters was bad, you haven’t seen anything. Think about how hard the San Antonio Spurs coach must be on his players.

During an interview with ESPN’s SportsCenter, Spurs point guard Tony Parker admitted Popovich made him cry as a rookie.

“Oh yeah,” Parker said when asked if Pop ever made him cry. “A couple times during my rookie year it was tough because he’s a tough coach to play for. He’s very demanding. Now he’s got better, he’s more like easy, but back in the day he was like really tough.”

Parker actually touched on this subject last year. The all-star point guard said that the current rookies are lucky that Pop is so nice to them. Parker said that Pop, a former Air Force Academy graduate, mellowed with age and because of wine.

Parker also said in his interview with Mark Schwarz that his shot to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat was the best of his career. But he admits that he will never forget the way the team let the series get away.

Parker is now 31 and is in his 13th season with the Spurs. It’s been over a decade since Popovich berated him to the point of tears, but maybe the harsh treatment helped the point guard become the excellent player he is today.

Gregg Popovich hassles Craig Sager in preseason interview (Video)

Craig Sager Gregg PopovichNothing marks the return of NBA season quite like Gregg Popovich giving TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager a hard time during an interview between quarters. Since this was a preseason game, Pop took it kind of easy on Sager and actually answered his questions. But not before giving him a hard time about him having to answer questions despite it being a meaningless preseason game.

Also see:
Gregg Popovich’s history of abusing Craig Sager during interviews now in video form
Gregg Popovich uses only word ‘turnovers’ during sideline interview (Video)
Gregg Popovich gave Craig Sager another brief interview (Video)
Gregg Popovich rips reporter for asking if he’s ‘happy’ (Video)

Gregg Popovich’s daughter told him ‘get over yourself’ after NBA Finals loss

Gregg PopovichSan Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has accomplished more in his NBA coaching career than most other coaches could ever dream of. He is a four-time NBA champion and two-time coach of the year. Last season, he came one win away from being able to fill an entire hand with championship rings. Pop says the loss to the Miami Heat still haunts him.

The Spurs had the Heat on the ropes in Game 6, which is what the 64-year-old said he thinks about the most.

“Nothing is a release,” he told Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News. “Was there (a Game 7)? I think about Game 6 every day. Without exception. I think about every play. I can see LeBron’s first shot, and the rebound, and the second…”

Popovich then paused and said he has been “lugubrious” — which is apparently a word for incredibly sad — since the season ended. However, Pop admitted he has been incredibly lucky during his career, pointing to Tim Duncan falling to his team in the lottery as an example. He then explained how his daughter Jill has helped him start the healing process.

“OK, Dad, let me get this straight: You won four championships, and you go to a fifth Finals,” Popovich recalled her saying. “Other coaches lose all the time. But poor Greggy can’t lose because he’s special. Can you please get over yourself? End of story.”

That’s better advice than the words of wisdom Doc Rivers gave him. Pop hates to lose and is not afraid to show it, as evidenced by his epic press conference after that Game 6 loss he has been replaying in his head. But between his wife telling him to stop being a jerk to sideline reporters and his daughter telling him to get over himself, it sounds like Popovich has a fantastic support group at home.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie

Gregg Popovich called Doc Rivers for advice on dealing with Game 7 loss

Gregg PopovichFor all the success Doc Rivers had as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, he knows plenty about devastating losses. The Celtics came close to winning their second championship under Rivers multiple times after they won an NBA title in 2008. In 2010, Boston lost a gut-wrenching Game 7 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. In 2012, Paul Pierce and company took a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose to the eventual champions.

That’s why when the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Heat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals this year, Gregg Popovich turned to Rivers for coping advice.

While one coach reaching out to another in that type of situation isn’t unheard of, some people will be surprised to hear that Pop did it. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the Spurs coach snapping at reporters and talking about how his wife lectured him. His decision to reach out to Doc proves that Game 7 losses sting a little more — no matter how tough a person looks on their exterior.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Gregg Popovich hugs LeBron James and Dwyane Wade after loss (Video)

Gregg Popovich Dwyane Wade hugGregg Popovich is one of the grumpiest coaches in the NBA. The guy gives reporters a difficult time, hardly shows positive emotion, and he definitely is never happy.

But that all changed after Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

Even though his San Antonio Spurs fell to the Miami Heat 95-88, Pop had a big smile on his face and was as gracious as one could possibly imagine. He embraced Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade despite losing, and he stayed on the court in a pure show of class. It was one of the best displays of sportsmanship we have seen.

How can you not appreciate that? Like Spoelstra said after the game, the Spurs are a class organization, and Pop was first class Thursday night.

Gregg Popovich with classic press conference after Game 6 (Video)

Gregg PopovichGregg Popovich was as salty and sassy in his postgame press conference as you would expect after his San Antonio Spurs blew a 5-point lead with 22 seconds left in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday and lost 103-100 to the Miami Heat in overtime.

Pop fielded six questions from reporters after the game, and the Spurs coach was brief in his responses, like usual. None of his answers lasted longer than 10 seconds.

The best response from Pop came when he gave a literal answer to a question about how he would get his team ready for Game 7:

The next best moment came when Pop dismissed a question from an Italian reporter, who suggested that the Spurs could/should have fouled the Heat when up by three points in the final seconds. Pop called the question a “European question”:

[Read more...]

Flo Rida’s manager Freezy: Gregg Popovich had me banned from Games 6 and 7

Flo-Rida-FreezyRapper Flo Rida and his crew have been some of the most visible Miami Heat fans at the American Airlines Arena throughout the entire postseason. That trend will not continue for Game 6 or Game 7 (if necessary), because Flo Rida’s manager Freezy has been banned from attending.

During an appearance on 104.3 The Ticket’s “Hochman and Zaslow Show” Tuesday morning, Freezy explained how the NBA contacted him and told him that he would be arrested if he tried to attend Game 6 on Tuesday night.

“They were sending me emails all week and kind threats but I was ignoring them,” he said. “Then I got emails and phone calls from their lawyers telling me I’m not allowed in the building for the next two games. So I’m like, ‘What violation did I (commit)’”

According to Freezy, San Antonio Spurs Head coach Gregg Popovich asked that his crew not be allowed back because they were getting too rowdy in support of the Heat.

“They were just telling me we had too much energy and the head coach complained about it,” Freezy claimed. “Them cats want an easy win. They ain’t used to that Miami Heat support right next to them in their ears.”

Freezy was also asked to leave the arena by the Indiana Pacers during the Eastern Conference Finals, but he said the Pacers were more disrespectful about it than the Spurs.

“The Spurs are just scared,” he explained. “They’re scared of the energy. The Pacers were disrespectful. The Spurs don’t want that building to erupt around them. What I do to cheer for my team is no different than what Spike Lee does in New York or Jack Nicholson does in LA.”

We have no way of knowing if Flo Rida and company were doing more than just cheering for the Heat, but if that’s the case you can understand why they would be upset — especially with Game 6 being in Miami. At least when this rapper was allegedly booted from the American Airlines Arena it was because he was cheering for the other team.