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Gregg Popovich reportedly dropped F-bombs at Dwight Howard during All-Star Game

Gregg Popovich Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard’s reputation for being a friendly guy who jokes around too much won’t be helped by this latest report.

According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Howard’s lack of focus during the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Houston made him the target of some cussing from San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was leading the Western Conference squad.

Here’s how Smith reported the story during a visit with “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning.

“Coach Gregg Popovich dropped a few F-bombs in Dwight Howard’s direction during All-Star break,” said Smith. “During a timeout, Popovich drew up a play for Dwight Howard, according to my sources. When it was time to run the play, Howard wasn’t in the game, wasn’t paying attention, was on the bench in his warmups, chilling out socializing with folks.

“Popovich almost went ballistic and basically was cussing at him according to numerous people that I spoke to.”

Smith also reports that the friction between Dwight and Kobe Bryant was obvious, and that Kobe didn’t even look at much less talk to Howard throughout the weekend.

When it comes to a story like this, we would want to hear Howard’s side. Did he tell the coaches to limit his minutes because of his shoulder? Was it late in the game when he thought he was done for the day? And if there is ever a time in basketball where relaxing and socializing with teammates is acceptable, it should be the All-Star Game, so it’s hard to get too mad at him for this.

However, Howard was seen laughing and smiling after the Lakers’ most recent loss, which does put his focus into question. We know Howard works hard and that he wants to win, but between his indecision about his future and his friction with Kobe, his reputation is taking a major hit. LA is not the place for him, and New York probably won’t be any better.

You can hear Smith’s comments around the 5:30 mark in this link.

Gregg Popovich likes the edge Stephen Jackson gives Spurs

Stephen Jackson has problems on most teams he plays for in the NBA, but for some reason he fits in well in San Antonio.

Jackson had his breakthrough season with the Spurs back in ’02-’03, which helped him earn a contract with the Atlanta Hawks. Jackson jumped around to four other teams over the next eight seasons. He had a notable 30-game suspension for his role in the brawl in Indiana, a 7-game suspension for firing a gun outside a strip club, and he has had numerous team or league-issued suspensions for minor infractions since. He admitted he quit on the Bobcats, and he successfully forced his way out of Milwaukee last season.

That long list of missteps doesn’t seem to bother Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who loves Jackson.

“I love his sense of humor and I love his competitiveness,” Popovich said Sunday, via the Star-Telegram. “He gives us a little bit of an edge.

“It’s great to have him, and the guys really appreciate him, especially Timmy (Duncan). He’s been one of Timmy’s favorite players through the years, so it’s great having him back with the squad.”

Are we talking about the same Stephen Jackson? The guy who seems to be a problem everywhere he goes? I guess the Spurs like the enforcer role he plays and the way he threatens opposing players. Or maybe Jackson made up with Duncan by finally letting the big man rap on his album.

Gregg Popovich shuts down Charles Barkley interview after two questions (Video)

Gregg Popovich does not hide his disdain for in-game interviews, and that position did not change even when he was interviewed by Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

Barkley was serving as a color commentator for the Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs game on TNT and conducted an interview with the Spurs coach after the first quarter. He asked Pop about the play and pace of the game, and when he attempted to ask a third question, he was shut down by Pop, who pointed out that only two questions are supposed to be asked.

Barkley gave a sheepish grin and said, “My bad.”

Popovich then gave Barkley a playful slap on the back and muttered, “I love you” to him.

It was clear Pop was messing around with Barkley rather than hassling him the way he has with other reporters. Pop acts so disrespectfully towards interviewers that his wife has asked him to cut it out, but he says he can’t help it. I guess he finds it too amusing.

Video via @cjzero

Gregg Popovich: Spurs were ‘an embarrassment’ against the Clippers

The San Antonio Spurs had their work cut out for them from the start before taking on the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. The Spurs were thin heading into the game with forward Kawhi Leonard nursing an injury, and they became even thinner when Stephen Jackson broke his pinky in the first quarter. Given that they were missing some key players against one of the best teams in the Western Conference, you could argue that a 92-87 loss is a moral victory. Just don’t say it to Gregg Popovich.

“I thought for a portion of that game we were an embarrassment,” Popovich said after the loss according to Spurs Nation.

The Spurs went 3-for-8 from the floor and were outscored 29-14 in the second quarter. They also turned the ball over seven times during that stretch, which is likely what Popovich was embarrassed by. San Antonio had been leading by as much as 10 before that run, but L.A. took a five-point lead into halftime and held onto to it the remainder of the way.

Pop hates losing almost as much as he hates doing interviews with sideline reporters during a game, so it’s not surprising to see him heated after a loss that many saw coming. Excuses don’t fly in San Antonio.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Gregg Popovich rips reporter for asking if he’s ‘happy’ about shot selection (Video)

Gregg Popovich has never been a big fan of speaking with reporters during games, and that clearly is not going to change in his 17th season as head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. On Wednesday night, TNT’s David Aldridge caught up with Popovich just before the fourth quarter of the Spurs game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Per usual, Pop was in no mood to talk.

Aldridge asked Popovich if he was happy with his team’s shot selection in the third quarter, and things got awkward in a hurry.

“Happy?” Pop responded. “Happy?’ Happy is not a word that we think about in the game. You gotta think of something different. Happy, I don’t know how to judge happy. We’re in the middle of a contest. Nobody’s happy.”

As Ball Don’t Lie pointed out, the Spurs had just given up a 15-5 Thunder run to close out the third quarter and turned what was once a 61-51 San Antonio lead into a 66-66 tie. Popovich was likely in a better mood after Tony Parker hit a game-winning jumper, but there was nothing Aldridge could have asked that wouldn’t have annoyed him. His wife may not like the way he treats sideline reporters, but you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Gregg Popovich admits he’s a jerk to sideline reporters; wife doesn’t like it

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is as disrespectful to sideline reporters as he is successful as a coach. The strange thing is the coach admits he’s a jerk toward them.

“I know, I’m a jerk. I’m going to go ahead and admit it publicly to the whole world,” Popovich said during an interview on the “Dan LeBatard Show” Wednesday.

The problem is that Popovich doesn’t know how to change.

“Tell me what to do. What should I do?” he asked LeBatard. “I don’t know how to answer so sue me for being stupid and not having the answers to the questions.

“It entertains everybody but my wife. When I get home and she says ‘geez why are you so mean? You’re a jerk, people hate you.’ I go, ‘I’m sorry honey, I’ll try to do better next time.’”

Popovich says he can’t refrain from giving the reporters a tough time.

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Gregg Popovich’s history of abusing Craig Sager during interviews now in video form

TNT composed a video called “Best of Coach Pop,” and they released it on Monday when the Spurs lost at home to the Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. If you watch the video, you’ll notice the first minute is spent showing Gregg Popovich essentially abusing TNT reporter Craig Sager during interviews. Sometimes the Spurs coach kept it simple and made fun of Sager’s outfits, but in another clip he wiped his nose with Sager’s hanky. That was pretty darn disrespectful.

Anyhow, the video’s release was perfectly timed, because Popovich had a notable interview with Sager prior to the fourth quarter of Game 5 on Monday. Pop was asked two questions by Sager and gave a pair of two-word answers. Their interview lasted 13 seconds, tops, and that includes the intro and outro from Sager. Video of that is below via Awful Announcing (sadly in choppy form):

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