HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

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February 20, 2015 Updates

Saying he was “shocked” to learn of the death of former NBA forward Jerome Kersey, coach Gregg Popovich remembered the one-time Spur as “a warrior” who was instrumental in helping establish the team’s culture of professionalism. Kersey, a member of the Spurs’ first NBA championship team in 1999, died Wednesday at 52 of pulmonary thromboembolism related to a blood clot in his lung. “For us, he was a warrior,” Popovich said before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. “He shot it pretty good, he was a decent scorer, but mostly he was a heck of a teammate. He was a rough-and-tumble guy on the court. He gave every body confidence with his physicality. He was something else.” San Antonio Express-News

February 18, 2015 Updates

Most seasons, the NBA trade deadline is but a rumor in San Antonio. Typically light on tradeable assets, and with an organization-wide ethos that values continuity above all, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford are generally content to let the day come and go without making a splash. Expect Thursday’s deadline to be one of those. “The chances we get anything done are probably zero-point-four,” Popovich told the Express-News after the Spurs practiced Wednesday in Santa Monica. In that, it will fit with most Spurs’ trade deadlines. Their most recent significant deadline-day deal came in 2012, when they dealt starting small forward Richard Jefferson to Golden State for Stephen Jackson. San Antonio Express-News

February 11, 2015 Updates

"I've watched them more than I've watched us, I think, because I've enjoyed it so much," he said. "He's doing a fantastic job, and it has very little to do with O's and X's. It's about putting a program together. All coaches know O's and X's. We all know that. There's no secret plays. He's not running anything secret that nobody's seen before or anything like that. It's about the program, it's about the process, it's about putting a group together that believes in each other, plays for each other, feels responsible for each other and gotten over themselves. It's all those things he's instilled. They've bought in, and they walk the walk." USA Today Sports

"There are a lot of things that I enjoy in the world, and basketball is probably not the No. 1 thing," Popovich revealed. "It's my job, but I don't bleed it like a lot of people. I don't think I'm a lifer. (ESPN analyst and former coach) Hubie Brown is a lifer. He's a real basketball guy. For me, it's my job. I try to do it well. I love basketball. I'm from Indiana, but I'm just not a lifer. "There's a nuance there, but ... I can win a game and be fine, (and) I can lose a game and be fine. And I move on. I don't get excited for the win, or deflated because of the loss. I just move on to the next day." USA Today Sports

February 10, 2015 Updates

The San Antonio Spurs gave coach Gregg Popovich quite the gift on Monday night, and the Indiana Pacers were unwilling party favors. In a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback, San Antonio defeated Indiana 95-93 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and secured Popovich's 1,000th career win, all earned with his Spurs dynasty. However, the night could have been quite the victory for the Pacers, who led by 14 points entering the fourth quarter and still led 89-79 with 6:46 remaining. USA Today Sports

"I've been here a long time and I've had good players. That's the formula," Popovich said. "Getting the players is difficult, but I've been fortunate to have good ones. The time, that's the most important element. You have to be around for a while I guess." "A thousand wins, that's a lot of wins and I feel very lucky that I've been with him for a lot of them," Tony Parker said after scoring 19 points. "We've experienced so much stuff together. I'm just very happy for him." USA Today Sports

Interviews at the end of a quarter are pretty worthless, rarely result in any useful note and are despised by coaches and reporters alike. But that’s not him, at least much of the time. In fact, the Spurs head coach is a very thoughtful man. We (media) got good Pop on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He can be moody and rarely is this good, one veteran Spurs beat reporter told me. Vigilant Sports

Popovich didn’t want to talk about himself, even though he was asked. He went on and on about one of his favorite players to this day, George Hill, who he had the chance for a few years before they traded him home to Indiana. He didn’t want to discuss the meaning of a potential 1,000th career win in his home state — he was born in East Chicago, Indiana — which he would get hours later as the Spurs edged the Pacers, 95-93. “Oh geez, here we go,” Popovich replied. “So you ask questions like that, which demands trite answers, right? You already know the trite answers so just go ahead and say them and I’ll say I said it.” Vigilant Sports

He was asked about what keeps him around the league he joined in 1988 as a Spurs assistant. “As you might expect, just the guys,” he answered, and then opened up a bit. “The guys, the gym, the comradery, joking on the bus, sticking each other in practice, and the challenges still feel good. Every year is a different challenge. You start over again. Doesn’t matter if you didn’t go to the playoffs, or you got knocked out in the first round or you won a championship, the next year is a new year and everything is different and you have to deal with it. So that challenge is fun still. When that stops being fun, then I’ll stop doing it.” Vigilant Sports

But there were also plenty of other positive moments, most notably the signing of a massive new media deal that will triple the NBA’s revenue. Then there was the Spurs’ hiring of Becky Hammon as the first full-time female assistant coach in NBA history, a moment Silver singled out in a video interview with USA Today. “I think the hiring of Becky Hammon is a wonderful step for the league,” Silver said. “The fact it was done by the NBA champions makes it all that much more special, and done by R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich for basketball reasons. Becky Hammon is someone I’ve known for a long time, when she was a WNBA player. San Antonio Express-News

February 9, 2015 Updates

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