Gregg Popovich Rumors
The post Tim Duncan transition may be easier than expected. Duncan, who retired after last season, was on the court with the Spurs during day 2 of training camp Wednesday, watching the team scrimmage and standing with a small group of guys, including Manu Ginobili, as they shot around. Spurs’ Coach Gregg Popovich joked that he and Duncan have spent the past few days arguing over fines for Duncan’s absence. Popovich had said Monday that he’d fine Duncan $2,500 a day for each day he missed. “Most people under contract are required to show up for their jobs,” Popovich said Wednesday. “He said he didn’t have a contract, but I told him I thought we had a verbal contract, and I thought that was just as good as written. We’re having a tough time right now, the two of us, trying to get him straight. He’s always been tough to manage but especially so now that he’s retired.” Popovich said that Duncan doesn’t have an exact title yet, and that he’d be the “coach of whatever he feels like.”
Spurs’ general manager RC Buford echoed those sentiments during an interview with a handful of reporters Wednesday. “Whatever he decides it will be,” Buford said. “I think he’s learning about life after playing. He can impact us in so many ways. I think we need to sit back and get a better understanding of how he feels like he wants to fit in, and what works for his family, and then we’ll figure it out from there. The gym feels better when he’s in it.” Duncan spent his entire 19-season career with the Spurs, leading them to five NBA championships. Buford said when Duncan decided to retire, he had a private conversation with Popovich. “You tried to prepare for it, and you tried to be ready to transition, but you never wanted to hear those words,” Buford said.
ESPN’s Ethan Strauss talked about an interesting interaction between D’Angelo Russell and Gregg Popovich at USA Basketball practice this summer: “I heard that D’Angelo Russell had to get lit into by Popovich because in running a drill again and again Popovich would tell him and correct him and players generally will listen to that and will listen to the correction and D’Angelo Russell just kept doing the same thing over and over again as if he wasn’t told anything.”
Gregg Popovich: “I think it’s really dangerous to answer such important questions that have confounded so many people for hundreds of years, to ask me to give you my solutions, as if I had any, in 30 seconds. So if you want to be specific about a question, I’ll be more than happy to answer it because I think race is the elephant in the room in our country. The social situation that we’ve all experienced is absolutely disgusting in a lot of ways. What’s really interesting is the people that jump right away to say, one is attacking the police, or the people that jump on the other side. It’s a question where understanding and empathy has to trump, no pun intended, has to trump any quick reactions of an ideological or demagogical nature. It’s a topic that can’t just be swung at, people have to be very accurate and direct in what they say and do.”
“It’s easier for white people because we haven’t lived that experience. It’s difficult for many white people to understand the day-to-day feeling that many black people have to deal with. It’s not just a rogue policeman, or a policeman exerting too much force or power, when we know that most of the police are just trying to do their job, which is very difficult. I’d be scared to death if I was a policeman and I stopped a car. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. And part of that in our country is exacerbated by the preponderance of guns that other countries don’t have to deal with. It gets very complicated.