Gregg Popovich is not about to let his San Antonio Spurs be put into a category with other dramatic teams and situations.
Even though there was a recent report saying there is discord between Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs over his injury recovery, Pop does not want you to referring to his issues as a “soap opera.”
Gregg Popovich does not believe the Kawhi Leonard story is a soap opera. pic.twitter.com/gmO9qpnQmD
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) January 23, 2018
It’s not often that there are controversies leaking out of San Antonio. Even during rough times, like when a player such as Tony Parker lost his starting job, he handled it with grace and class. That’s how you avoid the drama.
The Leonard report was unusual for the Spurs to experience. Clearly Pop does not want it becoming a trend.
DeMar DeRozan does not expect the Toronto Raptors to have a huge advantage over the San Antonio Spurs in their game on Friday despite San Antonio’s injuries.
Kawhi Leonard is out with a quad injury, Rudy Gay has a heel issue, and Manu Ginobili has a thigh injury. Despite those injuries, DeRozan knows the 30-16 Spurs will be a tough opponent, and it’s thanks to Gregg Popovich.
Here’s what the Raptors star said about Pop:
DeRozan, asked how Spurs do 'next man up' so well: "I don’t know. Pop knows something we don’t know. Because I’ve been watching them my whole career, being a fan of his resume growing up. It’s amazing how he do it. I have no clue how he do it. Hopefully one day I can ask him"
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) January 19, 2018
The Spurs haven’t exactly been as invincible as DeRozan suggests. They’ve lost to the Lakers and Hawks in recent games. But they still have LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green and guys like Patty Mills playing well. Plus players like Dejounte Murray and Davis Bertans have done well with their extra playing time, which is partially a tribute to Pop.
Toronto should be heavily favored for the game, but it’s clear DeRozan has no lack of respect for their opponent.
Gregg Popovich was asked on Tuesday night why he thinks it’s important to give back to the community. His answer was pretty perfect.
Take a look:
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked why he thinks it’s important to give back to the community: “Because we’re rich as hell and we don’t need it all, and other people need it. Then, you’re an a– if you don’t give it. Pretty simple.”
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) December 27, 2017
Popovich used to be blogged about regularly around here because of his surly answers to reporters. Nowadays he’s getting featured regularly for his thoughts on politics and life philosophies, and it’s awesome.
Coaches are leaders. Coaches are mentors. Coaches are tacticians. Coaches are father figures. Coaches are communicators. Coaches are jokesters and woke-sters (in the cases of Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich). Coaches are meme material (in the case of Doc Rivers). Coaches are disciplinarians (in the cases of Rick Carlisle and Tom Thibodeau). Coaches are punchlines (in the case of Tyronn Lue). But most importantly, coaches are winners and results-getters. Here are the coaches who have best lived up to that billing so far this season.
Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons
Don’t look now, but the Pistons are a top-four team in the league through 13 games. Here’s something even more remarkable: they currently sport both a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense. No other team in the East can say that, and only the Houston Rockets and our defending champions/dictators Golden State Warriors fall into that category out West. In fairness, Van Gundy has had the benefit of an improved roster: the addition of Avery Bradley, a more consistent and better all-around player than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the autumn miracle known as Tobias Harris’ awakening from the three-point line, to name a couple. But SVG’s strategical decisions deserve some love too.
He’s finally trusting Andre Drummond to play regular crunchtime minutes (perhaps due to that miraculous improvement from the free throw line). And though player development hasn’t been much of a strong suit for him in recent years, the Stan Man is getting fairly solid production from the likes of Stanley Johnson and rookie Luke Kennard. Yes, Detroit finally appears to be washing away the miasma of mediocrity that has haunted them throughout 2010s, so claim your spot on the Van Gundy bandwagon now before it gets full.
Jay Triano, Phoenix Suns
Gregg Popovich doesn’t hesitate to tell the media what is on his mind. But on Sunday night, Pop kept his comments to a minimum after his San Antonio Spurs’ 112-95 win over the Phoenix Suns out of respect for the church shooting nearby.
Here’s video of the only comments he made to reporters after the game.
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) November 6, 2017
Pop for America. He came out postgame, said this to reporters, and walked away. pic.twitter.com/RnHZINBL0P
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 6, 2017
Popovich called basketball “meaningless” in the face of such a tragedy and said talking about the sport in light of the tragedy would be “pretty inappropriate.”
A gunman opened up fire in a church Sunday in the small town of Sutherland Springs, killing 26 and injuring at least 16 others in what has gone down as the deadliest mass shooting in Texas. Sutherland Springs is just outside of San Antonio, so it’s easy to understand why Popovich and those in the organization felt particularly emotional about the shooting.
Steve Kerr’s son Nick is currently interning with the San Antonio Spurs, and Gregg Popovich is taking the necessary steps to ensure he isn’t a double agent.
Before the Spurs played the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, Popovich had this funny joke about the younger Kerr, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic:
Gregg Popovich, joking, on Steve Kerr's son, who is an intern in San Antonio: "We pat him down every day after work"
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 2, 2017
For Popovich, who always enjoys a good laugh at the Kerrs’ expense, you can never be too safe when it comes to your biggest Western Conference rival. Maybe the elder Kerr should check to make sure that his son isn’t wearing a wire at Thanksgiving dinner this year as well.
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Gregg Popovich was ejected from Thursday night’s San Antonio Spurs-Golden State Warriors game after being hit with a pair of technical fouls late in the game.
Pop’s Spurs were down 101-89 to the Warriors with under five minutes left in the game when the coach grew upset over what he felt was a missed traveling call. He became animated on the sidelines, leading to a tech. He kept it up and got hit with a second tech, which necessitates an ejection.
Gregg Popovich has been ejected after receiving his 2nd technical foul pic.twitter.com/Lb00jiORxz
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 3, 2017
Some audio seemed to show that Pop had called the official a “terrible f—ing referee,” leading to the ejection.
Pop probably didn’t mind getting tossed at that point, as his team was down by double-digits with not much time left.