HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

April 2, 2014 Updates
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Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich admits that he watches the NCAA Tournament to steal things from NCAA coaches: Gregg Popovich is one of the best basketball coaches on the planet, but that doesn't mean he isn't open to learning new things from other coaches. Popovich recently admitted that he watches NCAA Tournament games to find things he can steal from college basketball coaches. "There is always something," Popovich said. "Not just necessarily a play, maybe it's the way they substituted or managed, what kind of a wrinkle they've put into their team defense." Sulia

March 29, 2014 Updates
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Add Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to the growing list of those who believe Joakim Noah should draw votes for the NBA Most Valuable Award. Recognizing that Noah has zero chance to take home the hardware — not with Kevin Durant and LeBron James around — Popovich said he was nonetheless delighted to hear the versatile Chicago center’s name could up in the conversation. “They won’t choose him as the MVP, but I think it’s great that he’s in the conversation and he should be,” Popovich said after shootaround this morning in preparation for tonight’s game against the Bulls. But it’s just not the way it works, from my experience. It’s got to go in the basket for you guys (media) to pay attention to somebody. But he’s pretty damn valuable in my opinion.” San Antonio Express-News

March 6, 2014 Updates

Popovich, speaking to media before a typically efficient 122-101 rout of the host Cleveland Cavaliers, said he often mines the "competitiveness and the character of the player" in shaping them into confident, productive components of the Spurs' offense. "Sometimes in timeouts I'll say, 'I've got nothing for you. What do you want me to do? We just turned it over six times. Everybody's holding the ball. What else do you want me to do here? Figure it out,' " Popovich said, according to the San Antonio Express-News, not long before the Spurs used 14 3-pointers and a season-high 39 assists to dispatch the Cavs. "And I'll get up and walk away. Because it's true. There's nothing else I can do for them. I can give them some bulls---, and act like I'm a coach or something, but it's on them." ESPN.com

March 4, 2014 Updates

No other elite team has ever been at it as long as the Spurs, whose endless heyday began 17 years ago when Tim Duncan fell to them in the lottery and joined David Robinson in the game's greatest big-man tandem. Of course, Timmy's been on his own for 11 years; that's how long it's been since David retired. It was 14 years from 1999, when the Spurs won the first of their four titles, to last spring when they were five seconds from No. 5 before Miami’s Ray Allen tied Game 6 with a three-pointer, forcing an overtime, and, ultimately, Game 7 which the Heat won. Not even Bill Russell, who won 11 titles in 13 seasons with the Celtics, stuck around that long. Forbes.com

Popovich and his Euro-darkhorse pilfering GM, R.C. Buford, are on Spurs version 3.0, having gone from the original Duncan-Robinson-Sean Elliott nucleus to Duncan-Parker-Ginobili, then to this team that was five seconds away last spring with Kawhi Leonard leading a young supporting cast. Of course, this season they’ve been hit with all sorts of injuries... saving Popovich the trouble of resting guys, who are recuperating instead. In Parker’s case, the “forseeable future” lasted 12 days before he returned to make 10 of 15 shots in a victory over Dallas. Seems like a long run, if you ever stop to think about it. “I do,” said Popovich. “So the next time it gets turned over, somebody else is going to be there.” Forbes.com

February 28, 2014 Updates
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Despite resting Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan on occasion, the Spurs have remained successful, and coaches such as Doc Rivers have picked up on the effectiveness of giving older veterans regular-season rest. Now, such ploys have their disadvantages. When Popovich sent three starters home instead of playing in a nationally televised showdown against the Miami Heat, the organization was fined $250,000 for his decision. When asked if he considers himself a trail blazer for better preparing his team for the postseason by resting players during the regular season, Popovich said, “You don’t want to be fined $250,000 too often, so that’s not a good trend, obviously. But we’ve been resting guys for 20 years since I’ve been here. I think it extends their careers. It’s logical that when you’re playing four games in five nights or eight games in 12 nights or some crazy thing, and your guys are getting older, you do what makes sense.” Boston Globe

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have a core for quite a while, so that continuity has been great,” Popovich said. “We’ve sort of put the pieces around it for the last 15, 16 years. But Tim Duncan has allowed us to do that. Without him, I’d be coaching the JVs at Pomona [College] or something.” “Pop and [general manager] R.C. [Buford] are doing a great job of putting teams together,” Duncan said. “They keep our core together and that’s a huge help. We continue to do well in the draft with our late picks and continue to build around a system that is in place to play the way we want to play. We’re able to execute and understand the discipline it takes year in and year out.” Boston Globe

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Beyond the long-running legacy of Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich will be attached to perhaps the most successful and accommodating system in NBA history for international talent. The San Antonio Spurs coach reminisced about his first international experience during last week’s visit to Boston. “My first year in the league was in ’88 with coach (Larry) Brown, and I didn’t know jack, but I knew I wanted to go overseas, so I begged him to let me go over for the ’88 European Championships in Koln, Germany,” Popovich said. “The only other NBA guy in the room was (Don Nelson). There was nobody else in there. That’s when he was bringing Sarunas Marciulionis back (from Lithuania). “I was like a kid in a candy store looking around,” he said. “That’s when Yugoslavia was Yugoslavia and they had that team. It was ridiculous. The Russians were really good when they were the Soviet Union; players everywhere. I knew early on it was a market we wanted to tap. That’s why we did (Tony) Parker at (pick No.) 28, and Manu (Ginobili) in the 50s, and (Luis) Scola after him. Boston Herald

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