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

JA Adande got the Gregg Popovich treatment (Video)

JA-Adande-Gregg-PopovichThe San Antonio Spurs managed to take care of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, despite the fact that Tim Duncan was sidelined with a chest injury. However, the Spurs trailed the Lakers by a score of 23-16 after the first quarter, which is when ESPN’s JA Adande had the pleasure of interviewing Gregg Popovich.

You probably know the rest. The first thing Adande pointed out was that Popovich can’t be pleased with his team shooting 7-for-28 from the floor in the first 12 minutes.

“You know, you’re an incisive man,” Pop said while sarcastically patting Adande on the back. “That’s exactly right.”

Adande then asked what the Spurs have to do differently when playing without Duncan, which seemed like a much better question.

“There’s no key,” Popovich responded. “We just do the same stuff.”

And that was that. Popovich is off to a quick start with his crankiness during sideline interviews this season. In fact, he even hassled Craig Sager last week during a preseason contest. All is normal in San Antonio.

Video via The Big Lead

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 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.