HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

January 26, 2014 Updates

All those years, all those championships and the incredible run of unparalleled success, and the memories that he still can't seem to shake are the ones from those two fateful Finals games inside the American Airlines Arena. Game 6 — with the unwelcome help of LeBron James and Ray Allen, a five-point lead with 28 seconds remaining in regulation becomes an overtime loss. Game 7 — a 95-88 loss that left Popovich and his Spurs reeling. "Uh, it'll be a horrible memory walking in that gym," Popovich told USA TODAY Sports by phone on Thursday as his team headed for its Friday night game in Atlanta. "If I said anything different, I'd be the biggest liar that ever lived. How could I say, 'Yeah, no problem. Well, it was a tough night.' That's (expletive). We all know that. USA Today Sports

"So the truth is that it will be horrible walking in there. I'll think about it right off the bat, but it won't be any different than what I think about every day. At some point during the day, it goes through my head. I've said it a lot of times. My hope is that over time I'll think about it every two days, and then every week and then every month and then that kind of thing." Hope isn't floating very well at the moment, though, for Popovich or his players. USA Today Sports

The schedule to come is brutality defined: Entering Friday, 12 of their next 14 games were on the road, including both the current three-game trip and the nine-game marathon affectionately known as the "Rodeo Road Trip" that so often serves as a high-point of their annual journey toward playoff contention. With usual suspects Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili already leading the way like always (they're the top three in team scoring), Popovich can only hope that this trip down memory lane with his oldies-but-goodies continues. "I'm disappointed for the team, because this is a time when we always try to make hay," Popovich said. "Historically, that 'Rodeo Road Trip,' that time before, during and after the All-Star break has always been good for us. We've got a lot of away games. It's a great time to come together and get the bunker mentality, and all that trade crap. But it works for us. So this road trip, and the one right after it, you'd like to be at full strength for that because it has been important for us getting momentum for the season. So I'm disappointed for them. USA Today Sports

January 24, 2014 Updates

Though they won’t play a minute, injured Spurs starters Tiago Splitter, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard are with the team on the three-game road trip that is to begin Friday night against the Hawks in Atlanta because coach Gregg Popovich wants to use the trip — and the upcoming rodeo road trip — to build team chemistry. “It’s both to get therapy — I want Will (head athletic trainer Will Sevening) to be there for their therapy and other stuff — and sure, they could have done that back in San Antonio with physical theapists — but it’s also good for the chemistry for them to be with us on these road trips.” Popovich also has used the rodeo trip to build what he calls a “bunker mentality” among his players, coaches and staff so the injured players will make that long sojourn, as well. San Antonio Express-News

According to Spurs coach and president of basketball Gregg Popovich it is just a matter of time and weather before swing man Othyus Jeffers joins the team on a 10-day contract. Jeffers, a 6-foot-4 player who has been on three NBA teams, including the Spurs, over the past three season, played 22 games with the D-League Iowa Energy this season and averaged 22.8 points and 11.4 rebounds. The Spurs were trying to arrange for Jeffers to catch up with the team in either Atlanta or Miami but weather that has disrupted air travel in the East has affected his travel, as well. “He will either join us (Friday) in Atlanta or (Saturday) in Miami,” Popovich said. San Antonio Express-News

January 23, 2014 Updates
January 22, 2014 Updates

What can you say about team mates, Garnet, for example? Mirza Teletovic: "Superb. Garnett is a winner, a fighter, he is 38 years old and he just works, works – as he has just from the beginning. Williams, if he has no injuries, is the best point guard in the NBA. Pierce ...a relaxed guy, everything is easy, slow, he says that's most important when you play one on one. He uses instinct perfectly, analyzes things. A real professional. Jason Kidd will be one of the best coaches, for sure – the new Gregg Popovich." NetsDaily

January 17, 2014 Updates

Having spent almost 20 years in the NBA as an assistant before getting his first head coaching chance with the Bulls, it's clear that Thibodeau learned a lot from watching Jackson. "I sat on that other bench," he said. "And I always sitting their saying, "When's he going to take them out? When's he going to take them out?" And he never did. And you know what? That was great coaching. And (Gregg) Popovich was the same way with (Tim) Duncan early on in his career. I think Pop, he and Phil are two of the best, maybe the greatest of all time. Both of them." ESPN.com

January 10, 2014 Updates

Speaking generally about the prospect of adding or not adding bodies around the trade deadline (this year it is Feb. 20), Popovich explained why the Spurs tend to tread carefully when it comes to adding and subtracting bodies at midstream. The prospect of upsetting well-honed team chemistry, Popovich said, is “scary.” Popovich: “The personality of the team is very important, the relationships and how they get along and how they interact, not just on the court but in the locker room, on the bus, who says what to whom; who the leaders are; who the followers are; all that kind of stuff. You don’t’ want to upset that apple cart unless you have a need. You’d rather not have to do something like that, and you have to weigh what are your chances of getting better if I do something like that. You have to weigh what are my chances of getting better if I do this against what are the chances we stay the same?” San Antonio Express-News

January 8, 2014 Updates

Van Gundy, now a color commentator with ESPN and will be calling Wednesday’s game, touched on a number of topics including who has impressed him the most on the Spurs’ roster, how long he thinks Gregg Popovich will coach, and what team is most surprising in the Western Conference. Said Van Gundy about the Spurs: “I knew they’d be good, but this good, I couldn’t have said I would have predicted that.” Listen to the podcast for more. San Antonio Express-News

January 3, 2014 Updates
January 1, 2014 Updates

Popovich acknowledged Kidd’s misfortunes in his first season at the helm. “He’s had a tough run,” he said. “It would have been tough enough just with all the new players getting used to each other, both personally and basketball wise, let alone all the injuries they’ve had. They’ve had it very, very tough.” Told of Kidd remembering his advice, Popovich said: “It’s tough to do, but that’s the only choice. “Be himself, stay positive; keep on coaching, keep on demanding, be consistent and create that culture. He’s tough enough to do it.” San Antonio Express-News

December 27, 2013 Updates

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Gregg Popovich: “The league is one challenge after another after another. Pop has become a good friend of mine over the years. It’s obvious what he’s accomplished. I think everybody in our profession kind of view him as the guy. When you’re some place for 18 years straight, nobody has done that since Jerry Sloan, and Sloan was there for 21 or 22 years, and everybody said that will never be done again. It will all depend on how Pop wants to go. But he’s the best of the best in my opinion. I think he’s the greatest coach ever, mostly because he’s been able to do it with a system. He’s got great players, but he’s done with a system, and he’s adapted their personnel to his system, and he’s done it with so many different moving parts over the years. It’s just been a phenomenal accomplishment.” Dallas Morning News

Blair, who was upset for not playing in 10 of San Antonio's final 17 playoff games last season because of a coach's decision, talked with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Thursday. The conversation, though, wasn't very long. "I told him I still love him, love the team,'' said Blair, who had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the Mavs' 116-107 loss to the Spurs on Thursday. "They are all still my brothers off the court.'' Fort Worth Star-Telegram

December 26, 2013 Updates

This one came 111-98 on Wednesday night, wire-to-wire, with the Spurs trailing by 18 points in the first quarter and never quite able to catch up. If the Christmas Day debacle were frustrating enough for the Spurs, their coach later added a lump of coal to their collective stocking. “I thought that was an embarrassing performance,” Popovich said. San Antonio Express-News

December 23, 2013 Updates

The November and December schedules have been so full of games and travel days that Popovich has chosen to use off days as rest days, including Sunday. Asked to recall the last practice, Popovich furrowed his brow, scratched his head and gave up. “I can't remember,” he said. In fact, the last real practice was Nov. 19, during a stretch of four days without a game after returning from a victory in Utah and preceding a home win over Boston. San Antonio Express-News

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.