Chicago Bulls coach Jim Boylen, under siege from his players, has leaned on mentor Gregg Popovich for support.
Boylen served as an assistant under Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs from 2013 to 2015 and has clearly used him as a coaching influence. The two apparently still speak, as Boylen said Popovich has privately offered him support as he clashes with his players.
Boylen has actually used some of the tactics Popovich has used on his Bulls players. That has clearly backfired, and Boylen was told he has a long way to go before he can consider himself in the same league as the Spurs’ coach. Regardless, Popovich is apparently supporting him, for whatever it’s worth.
Kawhi Leonard responded on Sunday to some shade from his former head coach.
Gregg Popovich said Saturday that Leonard was not a leader when he was a part of the San Antonio Spurs.
“Kawhi was a great player, but he wasn’t a leader,” Pop said of Leonard, who played seven seasons with the Spurs.
Leonard is now with the Toronto Raptors after forcing a trade. He had 29 points and 10 rebounds in the Raptors’ win on Sunday that made them 17-4. Leonard called Pop’s comments “funny” and said the coach may have been talking about last season, when Leonard only played in nine games.
Whether or not Popovich was talking about last season, when Leonard missed most of the games due to injury, the comments have to sting Leonard. He probably can still be happy though that he’s in a better place with a team atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Defense is not exactly known as DeMar DeRozan’s strong suit, but Gregg Popovich may be on a mission to change that this season.
Speaking with the media earlier in the week, the San Antonio Spurs coach trolled his new shooting guard with a funny comment about his defensive play. A reporter told Popovich that DeRozan had said that he was looking forward to getting easier shots now that he was a member of the Spurs.
“I don’t why he said that because we’re only going to play him on the defensive end,” Popovich replied. “We’re not throwing him the ball. I forgot to tell him that. You guys can go ahead and tell him so he knows.”
DeRozan, who was acquired by the Spurs from the Toronto Raptors in July as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade, is a four-time All-Star and has scored 20 or more points per game in each of the last five seasons. He has been known as a defensive minus for much of his nine-year NBA career though.
It’s safe to say that DeRozan probably won’t mind the friendly jab however, as he has held his new head coach Popovich in high regard for many years now.
H/T NBA Reddit
The San Antonio Spurs are not going to let Kawhi Leonard dictate his way out of town without at least putting up a fight. In fact, one report says Gregg Popovich met with Kawhi Leonard on Tuesday, two days before the NBA Draft.
Yahoo’s Shams Charania reported the information, saying the two met in San Diego (Leonard attended San Diego State for college).
Despite all the talk about Leonard wanting out, he is actually under contract for the upcoming season at just over $20 million. He has a player option for the following season which he would decline to become a free agent.
His situation heated up on Friday following a report saying that he wants out of San Antonio after a season full of drama. Leonard has not done much talking, but instead it appears to be his representatives controlling the situation.
Would the Spurs want to keep a disgruntled player around next season based on all the drama they endured last season? Probably not, so they would likely consider trades, although they reportedly have no desire to help out their competitors.
Gregg Popovich is mourning a tragic family loss this week, and as expected he not going to coach the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the opening round of the playoffs.
The Spurs have announced that assistant coach Ettore Messina will take over head coaching duties against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
Popovich’s wife, Erin, passed away on Wednesday. ESPN reported that she had been ill over an extended period of time. Several prominent members of the NBA community have offered their support for Pop during what must be an incredibly difficult time.
The Spurs will be home on Thursday night in an 0-2 series hole against the Warriors.
The San Antonio Spurs shared some sad news on Wednesday evening.
The team said that Erin Popovich, the wife of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, has died.
“We mourn the loss of Erin,” Spurs General Manager RC Buford said in a statement. “She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.”
The Popovichs were married for four decades and have two children and two grandchildren. Pop credited his wife as being the reason for him treating sideline reporters better.
There has been plenty of drama surrounding the San Antonio Spurs this season, which Manu Ginobili is calling the weirdest of his career. But there is one positive despite it all: the relationship between Gregg Popovich and Kawhi Leonard reportedly is strong.
The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps wrote about the Spurs for an article published on Wednesday. In the article, Bontemps says the relationship between Leonard and Pop remains strong.
“But is a reconciliation even possible? The relationship between Popovich and Leonard, multiple sources say, remains strong,” Bontemps writes.
Even if they maintain a good relationship, Bontemps cautions that that doesn’t necessarily mean the two sides will work things out. Leonard has only played in nine games this season due to a quad injury. He reportedly was cleared to return by the Spurs, but he has not come back because he has not received clearance from his medical group.
Popovich hinted at the nature of issues between the sides when he directed questions to Leonard’s “group.”
Bontemps mentioned the Clippers, 76ers and Cavaliers as possibilities if the Spurs decide to trade Leonard. A previous report said the Clippers were working on a package if Leonard becomes available.
Gregg Popovich often looks like he would rather undergo multiple root canals in one day than speak with the media during and after games, which leads some to believe that he may be growing tired of his job. Not so, says the five-time NBA champion.
Following Saturday’s 113-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs, Popovich gave a press conference that was salty even by his standards. He began by asking reporters “what do you want?” and emphatically stated he is “so tired of this.”
If Pop thinks answering a few questions about a bad game is that tough, it’s fair to wonder if the responsibilities that go along with being an NBA head coach are weighing on him. After all, he is closing in on his 70th birthday. But on Sunday, a reporter asked Popovich if he is still getting enjoyment out of coaching — even when the team loses. The future Hall of Famer then began listing all the different ways he is pampered, and he seemed quite serious.
“Of course, are you serious?” Pop asked. “I get to work with these young guys. I get to watch people develop and grow. They have babies … well, their wives do. They grow as people. I make more friends for life. It’s pretty cool.”
Popovich has treated us to some of the most tense coach-reporter exchanges in sports over the past few years, but he obviously still has a passion for basketball.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich seems to be frustrated and confused at the absence of Kawhi Leonard.
Popovich made reference to Leonard and “his group” on Sunday, telling reporters they should direct their questions about the forward’s status to them.
This isn’t the first time Popovich has alluded to Leonard’s “group” — likely meaning the independent doctors that have been treating him in New York. He certainly comes off as puzzled and frustrated, and it may be evidence that the Leonard injury saga is causing tension within the organization. Either way, it doesn’t sound like we should expect him back anytime soon.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich does not like dealing with the media at the best of times. Get him after a blowout playoff loss, and you’re really in trouble.
Popovich was in top form after the Spurs lost 113-92 to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, giving a press conference that was both amazing and blunt even by his standards.
Every line is gold. It’s par for the course from Popovich — he loves to torment reporters, especially if he finds their questions to be silly or obvious. After a game like this, he was never going to be in a great mood, and it may not be the last time we see Surly Pop in this series.