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Monday, January 20, 2020

Articles tagged: Gregg Popovich

Becky Hammon convinced Gregg Popovich to challenge crucial play in Spurs’ win

Becky Hammon

Many believe that it is only a matter of time before Becky Hammon becomes the first female head coach in NBA history, and we saw a great example of why she deserves a shot during the San Antonio Spurs’ win over the Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Spurs were leading 105-100 with 1:28 left in the game when DeMar DeRozan committed a foul on Jimmy Butler. It appeared the foul was committed well before Butler was in the act of shooting, but he was awarded a continuation on the play and the basket counted because of a goaltend. That would have cut San Antonio’s lead to 105-102 and put Butler at the line for a free throw, and it initially looked like Gregg Popovich was not going to challenge the call.

However, Hammon stepped in and was persistent in convincing Pop he had nothing to lose by challenging. The head coach agreed and asked for the play to be reviewed, and it was overturned.

Butler made both free throws to cut the lead to three, but he could have cut it to two had the original call stood. In a game the Spurs won 107-102, that turned out to be a critical play.

Some are saying Hammon is only getting credit for the role she played in that sequence because she is a female, which may be true to some extent. That doesn’t make it wrong, as it further showcases why she deserves consideration as a head coaching candidate. Hammon obviously has a high basketball IQ and has earned the respect of Popovich, who is one of the greatest coaches of all time.

We’ve already heard Hammon linked to one head coaching job, though Charles Barkley has urged her to wait for something better to come along.

Gregg Popovich cracks funny joke about LaMarcus Aldridge shooting more 3s

Gregg Popovich

LaMarcus Aldridge has looked like a changed man with all the three-pointers that he is shooting this season, so much so that his head coach thinks that it may be a different person entirely.

Before the San Antonio Spurs played the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, coach Gregg Popovich joked about Aldridge’s increased prowess from deep.

“That’s not LaMarcus, it’s his twin,” said Popovich, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “It’s an impersonator.

“He’s doing a hell of a job,” added Popovich about the so-called impersonator.

The 34-year-old Aldridge has always been a strong scorer from the midrange but has never been much of a three-point shooter, entering the year averaging 0.4 three-point attempts a game at a 28.3 percent success rate for his career. That has all changed this season however with Aldridge firing up 2.5 attempts from deep per game and connecting on a spectacular 45.5 percent of them.

Popovich has openly admitted that he does not care for the three-point shot, but in a year where the Spurs are an uncharacteristic 17-21, Aldridge extending his range by a few feet can only help matters.

Gregg Popovich rejects role in spread of ‘farcical’ load management

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as the first NBA coach to rest healthy players in what has become known as “load management,” but he wants no credit or blame for a practice that he thinks has gotten out of hand.

On Wednesday, Popovich insisted he “never” did load management, but instead monitored the minutes of stars like Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan in a bid to extend their careers. Furthermore, he added that load management in today’s game has become “farcical.”

Most would argue that resting older players with injury history is the exact definition of load management. In fact, it’s a practice that he has gone out of his way to defend in the past. Considering the Spurs were once punished by the NBA for resting players in a primetime game, Popovich’s protestations here feel a little bit empty. While he’s right that load management is at an all-time high in the NBA, he’s still the coach who opened the door to the entire practice.

Gregg Popovich: David Fizdale firing is ‘ridiculous’

Gregg Popovich

David Fizdale was fired by the New York Knicks on Friday, and the move did not go over well with many.

Most recognize the Knicks have a poorly constructed roster, bad owner, and team that hasn’t won more than 32 games for five straight years. They view Fizdale as a scapegoat for the organization’s problems. Gregg Popovich certainly thinks so.

The San Antonio Spurs head coach weighed in on the Fizdale firing when speaking with the media on Friday. He called it “ridiculous” and “unfair.”

He’s right. This was only Fizdale’s second season as the team’s head coach. You’re expecting a huge turnaround after one and a quarter seasons, especially after stocking your roster with tons of power forwards in free agency? It’s lunacy.

But after eight straight losses, two of which came by blowout, the Knicks felt someone had to be accountable, and that’s why they fired Fizdale. It was an unfair move by a bad organization, but should be a lesson learned if you’re a potential head coach: this is what you’re in for if you take that job.

Gregg Popovich wants NBA to relax dress code so he can coach in sweats

Gregg Popovich

Gregg Popovich has never been shy when it comes to speaking out about change. We often see that when he addresses important political issues, but the San Antonio Spurs coach also cares about the less significant things. Take, for example, the dress code the NBA forces him and his colleagues to follow.

Popovich apparently is not comfortable while he is coaching. While speaking with the media recently, he said he wishes the NBA would allow coaches to wear sweatsuits on the sideline during games. Reporters let out a collective laugh when Popovich first began talking about it, but he was not joking.

When one reporter noted that baseball managers are required to wear uniforms like the players, Popovich said “they did that when they were kids” and “probably feel good in that uniform.”

Popovich can’t be the only coach in the NBA who wishes he could dress more comfortably during games, but it seems unlikely that there will be any changes. Former NBA commissioner David Stern was strict when it came to dress codes with both players and coaches, and one star player once said that is the reason he got so big into fashion. Popovich is free to experiment with the colors and patterns on the suits he wears, but we don’t expect to see him in a full Adidas jumpsuit anytime soon.

Gregg Popovich takes shot at Knicks over Marcus Morris signing

Gregg Popovich

The San Antonio Spurs open up the season on Wednesday night against the New York Knicks and will face a player who should have been on their team.

Marcus Morris originally agreed to sign with the Spurs but later reneged on his deal and instead joined the Knicks, who had freed up more cap space.

Asked prior to Wednesday’s game who was unprofessional in the matter, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich zinged the Knicks, indicating what he thinks of the franchise.

In reality, there are two parties to blame for this: Morris and the Knicks. The Knicks meddled with a player who had already agreed to a deal elsewhere, and Morris went back on his agreement to sign with the Spurs.

Popovich previously stated that the Spurs were blindsided by the “unprofessional” situation. Pop’s words also seem to confirm a report that said the Spurs were upset with the Knicks over things.

Agent Rich Paul and Morris parted ways after the deal. A report later said Paul did not want Morris to back out. Paul tried making it up to the Spurs by getting Trey Lyles to sign with them.

Donald Trump goes after ‘scared’ Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich over China comments

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has finally waded into the growing controversy between the NBA and China, but it’s not the Chinese he’s going after.

Trump ripped Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for their responses to the growing controversy, with both taking a more neutral stance toward the NBA’s handling of Rockets GM Daryl Morey speaking in support of Hong Kong.

Trump did not have anything to say about commissioner Adam Silver, Morey, or the NBA as a whole. That likely has to do with the fact that it’s been Kerr and Popovich who have been vocally critical of Trump in the past. It’s also worth noting that many Republicans have been very critical of the NBA’s response to the China issue, but Trump, to date, has only brought up the two head coaches.

For what it’s worth, Warriors guard Stephen Curry found the whole thing hilarious.

With the issue only escalating with new events, this is going to stick around for a while. It may not be the last time we hear from Trump on it — or at least something somewhat related to it.

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