HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

June 11, 2014 Updates

Gregg Popovich doesn't suffer fools. He doesn't play politics. And he certainly doesn't make a habit out of handing out bad scouting reports. So when the San Antonio Spurs coach deemed Kawhi Leonard the future face of his franchise in late August 2012, it was enough to make the basketball world take even greater notice of the young player who had quietly become a key part of their vaunted system. They noticed again Tuesday night, when his 29 points and smothering defense of LeBron James sparked the Spurs' 111-92 win vs. the Heat in Game 3 of the NBA Finals that gives them a 2-1 series lead. USA Today Sports

The potential that Popovich championed so early on was there for all to see. "Well, we just wanted him to be who he's been the whole year, in the regular season and in the playoffs," said Popovich, who landed Leonard via trade from the Indiana Pacers on draft night 2011 when he was taken 15th overall out of San Diego State. "I think the foul situations the first two games really he overreacted to them and became very cautious, and he doesn't play like that. He's got to be real active at both ends, and so he figured it out. "He was just himself. ... That's how he's played all year long. He's got to be one of our better players on the court or we're not good enough. That's just the way it is. He's got that kind of talent where — you know, it's the NBA Finals. You can't just be mediocre out there if you want to win a game, and everybody's got to play well, and he did that." USA Today Sports

June 10, 2014 Updates
June 9, 2014 Updates

Q: I know the relationship you have with Pop is special, and that you're also very private and don't let many folks in. How did the relationship evolve to the point where you have total trust and faith in him, and vice versa? Tim Duncan: It was an evolution over the years. Seeing that the decisions he made over the years to protect me and my career, and my body, and away from the court, him caring about what happens to me, and all those things together, it builds up, and you understand that someone's looking out for you, and they're not out to just use you for what you are, and you're not just a business chip. Once that trust is built from that respect, you let all the rest of the stuff go, and you understand that you're fighting for the same goal, and that he has your best interests at hand. NBA.com

Tony Parker scored 21 points and Tim Duncan added 18, but they went 0 for 4 from the foul line in a critical nine-second stretch of the fourth quarter, and those points loomed very large at night's end. Final score: Miami 98, San Antonio 96. "We can't miss four free throws in a row," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lamented when it was over. USA Today Sports

June 8, 2014 Updates
June 7, 2014 Updates

On Saturday, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Duncan has often demanded to play point guard. "True story," Popovich said. He thinks he's a point guard." Duncan admitted to entertaining the thought of moving to the backcourt. During his media session, he even asked a reporter to help convince Popovich. "I've been arguing that point for years now and I'm going to get your name and card, and I'll get you in a room with him," Duncan said. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Before diagramming any Xs or Os, the coach asked his players to help one of their teammates, point guard Patty Mills, celebrate a special day. Popovich explained to his players the significance of June 3 to Indigenous Australians, who celebrate it as Eddie Mabo Day, the anniversary of a high court decision recognizing the land rights of Indigenous Australians and, specifically, Torres Strait Islanders. The Torres Strait Islands are within the boundaries of Australia but in the straits between the far Northern tip of Australia and Papua New Guinea. San Antonio Express-News

Welling with emotion as Popovich spoke, Mills, the son of an Indigenous Torres Strait Islander father and an Indigenous South Australian mother, found himself at a loss for words. “It was unbelievable,” said Mills, who earned a role as Tony Parker's backup this season, his fifth in the NBA. “I had no idea Pop was going to do it. I had no idea he even knew about (Mabo Day), but for him to bring that up in a meeting before the NBA Finals, just to give everyone a heads-up, was very special.” San Antonio Express-News

Former Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry joined ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Tim Cowlishaw and Matt Mosley” on Friday and reasoned the Spurs could have made a tactical move in regard to the AC based on what the veteran point guard has seen them do in the past. “You know what, Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] has done that so many times. I don't know if it's a conspiracy, but I'm telling you, going into San Antonio is a tough place to play,” Terry said. “And I can remember very well one time where it was cold showers, there were about a thousand flies in the locker room. This year, there was a snake in the locker room. So, they're going to pull out all the stops to get into your head. “When you go to San Antonio, expect something like that. And Miami fell victim to it." ESPN.com

June 6, 2014 Updates
June 5, 2014 Updates
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June 3, 2014 Updates

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