Gregg Popovich Rumors
When you first started interviewing Gregg Popovich during games, it seemed awkward from a viewer’s perspective. Over time, do you think you and Popovich have developed a better relationship? Craig Sager: “People always come up to me and say ‘God, that Popovich is a jerk.’ And I say ‘no he’s not.’ If I was him I wouldn’t want me coming into the middle of a huddle in a playoff game in the middle of the third and fourth quarter. You’re trying to make adjustments, you’re trying to win games, you’re trying to tell your assistant coaches what rotations to have and who’s gonna come in and do what. You’ve gotta stop and talk some reporter on the sideline? So I understand, but those are the (NBA) rules. As long as those are the rules, I’m going to keep approaching him at the end of the third quarter at home.”
You’re required to talk to the coach at times during the game, but is there a time that’s off limits? Craig Sager: “Last night (Game 1) … we have a 20-point rule. If a team is up or down by 20 points, you don’t interview the coach because it’s like the coach ahead is gloating and the coach behind is rubbing it in. But last night it was close to 40 and they (Turner Sports) said ‘you can do the interview with Pop.’ I go ‘What?’ They said ‘yeah the NBA approved it because you guys get along so good. Just don’t ask him specifics about the game.’ I go ‘what do you mean don’t ask him about the game?’ They told me (the NBA) doesn’t want that. I say ‘if I make it light-hearted he’s gonna be p***** as hell at me, because I don’t joke with him. I let him do what he wants. I don’t fire back.
The Spurs never trailed, led by 23 at the end of the first quarter and by 43 early in the fourth. “It was one of those we had a great night and they had one of their bad nights,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team shot 60.9 percent. “We’ve been there before. It happens to everyone.” Aldridge finished 18 of 23, burying every defender the Thunder sent in his path. Not long after knocking down his third-quarter 3-pointer, Aldridge put in a preposterous left-handed scoop while tripping over Enes Kanter. “I ended up making some plays that I probably won’t make next game,” Aldridge said.
Michael C. Wright: Spurs coach Gregg Popovich just said there won’t be “any magic tricks” in this series considering all the familiarity between San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Pop said neither team “is trying to re-invent the wheel” and that this game will come down to all the basketball things that secure wins: execution, not turning over the ball, etc.