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.
Superstar players wanting to team up together and going to great lengths to make that happen has become an increasingly common theme in the modern day NBA, and one of the greatest coaches of all time has mixed emotions about it.
With Kirstaps Porzingis having been traded on Thursday and Anthony Davis publicly asking the New Orleans Pelicans to find a new home for him, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about the trend of star players demanding trades. While the five-time NBA champion said he can understand why it would be bad for the league, he sides with players who want to better their personal situations.
Popovich, of course, is quite familiar with having a superstar player who wants out. Kawhi Leonard did everything he could to force the Spurs to trade him, and he eventually got his wish. The circumstances with Porzingis and the New York Knicks seemed similar, and Anthony Davis is likely to have his wish granted at some point between now and next year’s NBA trade deadline.
Some prominent basketball people are calling for the NBA to intervene in situations like the one with Davis, but it’s unclear what the league could do. Teams want to recoup assets if players have no intention of sticking around long-term, and that is what gives superstars like Davis leverage.
The San Antonio Spurs may have won on Tuesday night, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell based on Gregg Popovich’s postgame interview.
The Spurs needed a last-second shot from Rudy Gay to top the Suns 126-124. Maybe it’s because they were facing an 11-42 team, but Pop felt like his Spurs did not put forth their best effort. He ripped his team after the game, saying they were “outplayed, outcoached” by the Suns, who got robbed.
Between this and calling a timeout 16 seconds into a recent game, it’s clear Pop is trying to send a message to his team. He is not satisfied with their play and wants them to know it.
San Antonio may be 30-22, but Pop knows that is not good enough in what is a tough and competitive Western Conference.
There were numerous reports over the summer that the San Antonio Spurs had no intention of trading Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Lakers no matter what the circumstances, and they may be hoping the New Orleans Pelicans follow the same rule with Anthony Davis.
Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning that he has been told Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reached out to Pelicans GM Dell Demps to urge him to not cave to the Lakers in trade talks surrounding Davis.
“I’ve been told that one of the people Dell Demps has communicated with is Gregg Popovich — not for trade talks or anything, but Popovich has said, ‘Don’t cave to the Los Angeles Lakers, like we didn’t. Don’t think for one second that you have to be compelled to move Anthony Davis now. You can wait,'” Smith said. “That’s what he’s been telling Dell Demps.”
Smith followed up his own report by saying he’s unsure if it’s true, so it doesn’t sound like he has the utmost confidence in his sources.
It sounds like Davis is planning to tell interested teams he is only willing to sign a long-term extension with the Lakers, but that may not hurt his trade value all that much. The Boston Celtics can probably offer the best package for Davis, and they are said to be among several teams who are willing to trade for Davis without assurances that he will sign a new deal. The Celtics cannot trade for Davis until the summer because they already acquired one “Rose Rule” contract player in Kyrie Irving, so it would make the most sense for New Orleans to wait things out until all the bidders can get involved.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is not really known to be a sentimental guy, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that he’s not really interested in coaches praising rival players.
Popovich said it’s “baloney” when NBA coaches praise their opponent’s players, adding that it “doesn’t mean anything.”
It’s safe to say the reporter won’t get the quote he was looking for about Bradley Beal’s ball-handling. Popovich won’t even accept praise from his former assistants, so don’t count on him dishing it out freely himself.
DeMar DeRozan was on the bench for the final play in Wednesday’s San Antonio Spurs-Philadelphia 76ers game, leading to some questions. Following the game, Gregg Popovich shared his reasoning for the decision.
Popovich says he held DeRozan out because he wanted his best 3-point shooters on the floor.
The Spurs lost to the Sixers 122-120. DeRozan was blocked on a go-ahead layup attempt on the Spurs’ previous possession, which might have upset Popovich.
DeRozan had 26 points in the game and is the Spurs’ leading scorer. Seeing him out for the play was surprising, but it makes sense since DeRozan isn’t a 3-point shooter. This isn’t the first time DeRozan’s been benched at the end of a game before, as the same thing also happened in Toronto. We’ll see if it creates any hard feelings.
Gregg Popovich had a funny response to praise he received from Brett Brown ahead of Wednesday’s game between their teams.
Brown, who was an assistant coach under Popovich in San Antonio, called Pop the best NBA coach ever. Pop gave a straight-faced response, saying Brown is full of s—.
The video is below but contains the profanity:
Brown was part of the Spurs’ organization from 1998-1999 and 2002-2013 before getting the head coaching job with the Philadelphia 76ers. His Sixers enter the game with the better record, but Pop having San Antonio 27-21 the season after losing Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, is as impressive as ever.
Gregg Popovich may be in the final year of the most recent five-year extension he signed with the San Antonio Spurs, but it goes without saying that the franchise would have him as long as he’d like to stay. As of now, there is no guarantee that time frame will extend beyond the current season.
Popovich, who will turn 70 later this month, told Marc Stein of the New York Times on Wednesday that he is unsure if he will be back coaching next season.
“I don’t know the answer,” the five-time NBA champion said.
Popovich added that he has discussed his future with Spurs president RC Buford, and Buford basically said Pop can stay as long as he wants to.
“He’ll coach as long as he wants to coach,” the executive said.
The revamped Spurs are 26-20 and appear poised reach the postseason yet again. They have rebounded nicely after an 11-14 start, and they look like they are finally coming into their own with Kawhi Leonard out of the mix and DeMar DeRozan leading the way. Popovich is always going to have new challenges, but the question is how much energy he has remaining to tackle them.
Pop has already shown us this season that his sense of humor remains intact, but he may decide after the season that he has accomplished everything he possibly can. No one would blame him for that.
Kawhi Leonard will return to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Thursday night for the first time since being traded to the Toronto Raptors. Even though the freshness of Leonard forcing his way out of San Antonio is prominent in the minds of the fans, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich says he hopes the fans will be able to brush that aside.
“I don’t speak for other people but I hope we treat everybody with kindness and respect,” Popovich said Wednesday, via News4SanAntonio. “We always have in the past.”
Leonard gave the Spurs six great seasons before beginning to check out on them last season. The fans can choose to remember that and welcome Leonard accordingly, or they can choose to still feel upset over Leonard deciding he didn’t want to play for the team anymore and leaving them. If they still need more time to get over that, that would be understandable, but over time he should receive cheers from the fans.
DeMar DeRozan has only played about half of an NBA season under Gregg Popovich, but the four-time All-Star already seems quite familiar with how the San Antonio Spurs coach operates.
The Spurs got off to a sluggish start in their game against the Boston Celtics on Monday night, scoring just 17 points in the first quarter and trailing 52-46 heading into the half. They then matched their entire first half production by exploding for 46 points in the third quarter en route to an eventual 120-111 victory. When asked what changed from the first half to the second, DeRozan had a very simple explanation.
“We got cussed out by Pop,” DeRozan told reporters with a straight face after the game. “Us not being aggressive, going out there real tentative, we had to change that.”
It was pretty obvious that Popovich and DeRozan have a strong relationship with the way Pop trolled DeRozan over his defensive play early in the season, so the latest comments aren’t really a surprise. Like many others before him, DeRozan clearly has a great deal of respect for his five-time NBA champion coach.