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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich: Kyle Kuzma’s ankle injury a ‘huge disappointment’

Kyle Kuzma

Gregg Popovich seems truly bummed out about Kyle Kuzma being cut by Team USA due to an ankle injury.

USA Basketball finalized the roster of 12 players that will be part of Team USA competing at the FIBA World Cup next weekend. Kuzma, who had been with USA Basketball in training camp and did not play in an exhibition game against Australia due to his ankle, did not make the cut.

In comments shared by MassLive.com’s John Karalis, Popovich expressed his “disappointment” over Kuzma being hurt.

Los Angeles Lakers fans should be somewhat concerned too. While some wondered if the ankle injury was a cover for cutting Kuzma, Popovich saying the injury could hold Kuzma back for the start of the season signifies how real it is.

The 24-year-old was one of the few remaining players on the Lakers after their huge Anthony Davis trade during the summer. He says he is taking on a leadership role with the team, which is full of many new faces. Kuzma averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season.

Watch: Gregg Popovich flashes handles, jumper at Team USA practice

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich may be 70 years old, but he can still give these youngbloods buckets.

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell posted a video to his Instagram Story on Monday of the USA Basketball coach busting out a behind-the-back dribble before splashing a pull-up jumper. Check it out:

Popovich, who has coached the San Antonio Spurs since 1996, was actually quite the player back in the day for the United States Air Force Academy, where he attended college from 1966 to 1970. He served as the basketball team’s leading scorer and captain during his senior year and even earned an invitation to the US Olympic Basketball Team trials in 1972.

Though Popovich’s game is impressive, he is not the only NBA head coach that we have seen stunt on us with his handles.

Gregg Popovich has funny plan for slowing down Patty Mills ahead of FIBA World Cup

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich will be coaching against one of his own players on the international stage next week, and he is already planning ahead accordingly.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Popovich, who is the head coach of Team USA, revealed his funny plan for slowing down Australia’s Patty Mills when the two teams play each other in a pair of pre-FIBA World Cup exhibitions.

“I’m going to take him out to eat,” Pop joked, per 7NEWS Australia. “I’m going to fill him up and try to make him fat so he can’t move around so quickly.”

Mills, who has played for Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs since 2011, is known for his speed on the court, so the former Coach of the Year’s mindset is definitely in the right place. Popovich’s wisecrack is even funnier when you consider what he said about the guard’s weight several years ago.

Gregg Popovich dismisses trash talk from Serbian coach

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich dismissed some trash talk from Serbia’s coach ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Serbia is viewed as a top challenger in the event to the favored United States. Serbian head coach Sasha Djordjevic seemed to say that the Americans needed to worry about Serbia more than the other way around.

“Let’s let them [Team USA] play their basketball and we will play ours and if we meet, may God help them,” Djordjevic said, via Eurohoops.com.

Popovich, who is the head coach for USA Basketball, was asked about Djordjevic’s comments and decided to stay above the matter.

If the quote from Djordjevic made its way to Popovich, there is a good chance the San Antonio Spurs coach will pass it along to his players as motivation.

What makes Serbia a leading contender at the World Cup? They have some strong NBA players, including Nikola Jokic, Milos Teodosic, Boban Marjanovic and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Gregg Popovich jokes about why he made Tim Duncan his assistant

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich seems pretty excited about Tim Duncan joining his staff as an assistant. The San Antonio Spurs coach is also very eager to joke about it.

At the first day of USA Basketball practice, Popovich spoke briefly about Duncan’s decision to join the staff, joking that the Spurs icon couldn’t coach at all and Popovich is simply paying him back for carrying him for nearly two decades.

Popovich made a similar joke when announcing the hire, and he’ll probably have more to come. The Spurs coach certainly seems very excited to have Duncan involved again, and the jokes are clearly coming from a place of deep affection.

Gregg Popovich won’t seriously answer question about his coaching future

Gregg Popovich

Good luck getting a straight answer out of Gregg Popovich about his coaching future.

On Monday, Popovich was asked about his contractual status for 2019-20, and he joked that he was already negotiating with some other teams who are off the map a bit.

Popovich also dropped plenty of hints, however, to indicate that he intends to return for next season.

Popovich hasn’t given any indication that he doesn’t plan to be back. Sure, he’s been prickly during the playoffs, but that isn’t really anything out of the ordinary. He’ll play coy about it and he doesn’t like to answer the questions, but all signs point to him returning for another season on the San Antonio sideline.

Watch: Gregg Popovich could not believe Spurs didn’t foul

Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs had a brainfart at the end of their Game 7 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night, which left Gregg Popovich in complete disbelief.

The Spurs were down 90-86 to the Nuggets in the deciding game of their first-round playoff series. With only 24 seconds left in the game, the Spurs’ best chance of winning or tying was to foul Denver to stop the clock and hope they missed free throws. Instead, they were playing defense as if it were a one-possession game.

Popovich could be seen motioning to his players to foul Denver, which they never did.

After Denver missed their shot attempt, the Spurs got the ball back but there was so little time it didn’t matter.

“Obviously he didn’t hear anything, because he didn’t foul,” Popovich said after the game.

What were the Spurs players on the floor thinking at that point? There’s no other explanation than a horrendous mental mistake.

Watch: Gregg Popovich has shortest press conference ever

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich had to have set a record on Saturday for the briefest pre-game press conference of all time.

Popovich went to a media room to answer questions before the San Antonio Spurs’ playoff game against the Denver Nuggets. He sat down at the podium with a microphone in front of him for a few seconds. There were no questions, so he quickly got up and left.

That. Was. Amazing.

Popovich is typically terse with the media, especially during in-game interviews. In this case, he didn’t even have to do anything to not be bothered with questions.

His Spurs lead the first-round series 2-1 against the Nuggets.

Watch: Gregg Popovich ejected a minute into game

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich is having a tough time with the officials.

Popovich was ejected 63 seconds into Wednesday night’s San Antonio Spurs-Denver Nuggets game. He received two technical fouls, which triggered the automatic ejection. He was perplexed upon being tossed:

Ettore Messina served as the team’s coach after Pop’s ejection.

This is the second ejection for Pop in the Spurs’ last three games. He was also tossed in the third quarter of the team’s loss to the Kings on Sunday.

Watch: Gregg Popovich has funny exchange with cameraman

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich had a funny exchange with a cameraman prior to the San Antonio Spurs’ game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

The Spurs coach was getting ready to do a pregame interview in what appeared to be a tunnel that didn’t have great lighting, so a camera person had a light on to film. Pop asked if the light was necessary because he preferred not to be interrogated if it wasn’t.

For someone with a reputation of being a difficult interview,that was a funny and lighthearted moment.

He was probably a lot more cheerful before his team lost 130-118 to a Knicks squad that had previously lost 18 straight home games.