Coach Gregg Popovich glares at an empty chair (Getty Images)
There isn't a lot to Jeff McDonald's tidbit from the heart of San Antonio Spurs training camp, outside of the insinuation that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would like his team to be more politically aware in spite of the two-a-day nature of NBA preseason practices.
Ever the political animal, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave his team a unique bit of homework Thursday.
Before practice, he handed each player a DVD of Wednesday night's presidential debate to take home and watch.
"Of course, we have so many foreign guys on our team, they were quick to point out they can't vote, so they shouldn't be obligated to watch the debate," forward Matt Bonner said. "Regardless, they live here, so it's good for them to be aware."
Bonner, who plans to vote for incumbent Barack Obama over challenger Mitt Romney in November, said Popovich's message was well received.
"Basketball isn't everything," Bonner said. "There are bigger things going on in the country we live in."
[More: Celtics lose to Turkish team]
And work in. And make huge gobs of money in. And travel to 26 other NBA cities (excluding Toronto, and that second trip to Los Angeles to see the Clippers, and technically Brooklyn if you want to get super-strict about these sorts of things on a FRIDAY) within the course of a seven-month pre- and regular season in.
NBA players, truly, have little time to fire up the DVR and catch up on their favorite picture shows. The nutty work schedule and endless travel precludes any sensible couch time at home for just about the duration of the network TV season. Players are on those planes and buses quite a bit, though, with an iPad on hand or laptop flipped open and Netflix or Hulu (or, at the team's insistence, potentially a disc full of prepared NBA clips) ready to stream in and make the drudgery go far away.
Presidential debates, even if they were shown on just about every available channel on Wednesday night, aren't usually filling up the typical quarters of a player's Netflix queue; so Coach Pop went the proactive route in order to keep his charges fully aware. It's a smart move that doesn't have to include any partisan leanings in its message; even if Bonner was quick to point out that he'll be voting for the incumbent candidate next month.
Some smartly placed required viewing, as burned and distributed by the Air Force Academy graduate. Something we wouldn't mind seeing from 29 other NBA coaches between now and November's election.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Gregg Popovich
- Gregg Popovich
- San Antonio Spurs
- Matt Bonner