I’m not really sure how many coaches would get away with half the things that Gregg Popovich has done or said. Maybe it’s because his winning percentage is quite high, or because people fear his wrath. Whatever the answer is, doesn’t matter. He is a character on and off the court. That is why I am dedicating this entire article to one of the most successful and colourful coaches in the league, Gregg Popovich.
During Game 4 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals playoff race, Popovich benched all his stars in an attempt for a less painful loss, and to just accept the loss that he felt they deserved. Did he need much of an explanation? No. And when he was asked why, he simply shrugged his shoulders and could not possibly understand what people didn’t get. As harsh of a reality and judgement call that it was and is, he made the call for his team. He has produced a winning team not through being soft, but for being the tough guy he has always been. So, if his players don’t perform and play the basketball he knows they are capable of, well, they are useless on the court (Classic Pop).
In his 16th season as the Spurs head coach, he is the longest tenured coach with the same team among the 122 NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB franchises. He has led the Spurs to four NBA Championships and is the only active coach with multiple NBA titles. He has a career winning percentage of .675, ranking third in NBA history just behind Phil Jackson and Billy Cunningham.
He is the hardest critic of his own team that he has spent 15 years producing (you wonder why), and when they are not performing, he will let everyone know it. He gives them credit when it is deserved, and is the first to recognize an opponents athleticism and hard work in a time of defeat. So although he may do it in an unconventional fashion, he knows his basketball and he knows when he’s right – which is pretty much 100 per cent of the time.
Now knowing how much of a professional he is, I don’t think there has ever been a post-game interview where he hasn’t amazed someone with his quirky, yet totally serious answers
Take this recent example:
I literally have no words for how unknowingly funny he is, my personal favourite before game 7 of last year’s NBA finals:
Just to top it off with the best of
All joking aside, he is a brilliant coach who knows his team better than any one. But, a little piece of advice if you ever come across Pop, I would speak without food in your mouth and ask relevant questions. Oh, and dress simple.