HoopsHype Gregg Popovich rumors

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
February 23, 2014 Updates

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

February 21, 2014 Updates
February 20, 2014 Updates
February 16, 2014 Updates

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

February 13, 2014 Updates

Neither Popovich nor captain Tim Duncan could recall a time in their 16 seasons together in which the Spurs have been more injury-wrecked. “If you know somebody's injured, they're going to be out for the year or four months or something, you get your team together and you play,” Popovich said. “What's been odd with this, it's a different team every two games. We haven't been able gain any traction.” San Antonio Express-News

February 12, 2014 Updates
February 8, 2014 Updates

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he might spend some of his All-Star break watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi. One sport he will try to avoid — if his wife will let him — is figure skating. “It makes me too nervous,” Popovich said. “Every time you know they're going to jump, I can't stand it. I'm afraid they're going to fall. It's sort of like missing two free throws at the end of a basketball game. You go home and want to jump off a building. “I feel awful for them. I turn away, like it's a horror movie.” San Antonio Express-News

February 5, 2014 Updates
February 4, 2014 Updates
January 30, 2014 Updates

Popovich, who ordered his team to foul Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard seven straight times in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night's 97-90 loss, is not a fan of sending guys to the line -- but concedes it's part of the game. "I hate it," Popovich said of the strategy before Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Bulls. "I think it's awful. I hate doing it. Seriously. I think it's a pain in the neck, fans don't like it, I don't like it, nobody likes it. It disrupts the flow of the game. If there's an equitable way to get rid of it, I'm all for it. "But it's part of the game. It's part of the rules now and if you think somebody can't shoot a free throw you might as well take advantage of it. If you think somebody can't shoot you don't guard him the same way. So [the strategy's] fair, it's just kind of ugly I think." ESPN.com

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

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