For many years, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has made a sport of mocking and disregarding the not particularly thoughtful (albeit mostly harmless) questions of media members. That's especially the case during the NBA's recently instituted coach interviews during the breaks before the second and fourth quarters, when intrepid sideline reporters must figure out how to get marginally interesting information out of someone who would much rather spend those 30 seconds figuring out adjustments or talking to his players.
Most coaches at least humor the reporters, if only because they haven't been successful enough to build up the goodwill required to have their mockery come across as good fun. On Wednesday night, however, Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle decided to go the Pop route. With his team down 101-87 entering the fourth quarter, Carlisle opted for the shortest possible answers to ESPN reporter Chris Broussard's questions.
Check out the full transcript after the jump.
Broussard: Welcome back to Dallas, Rockets ahead by 14 points. Coach, Dwight Howard obviously has it going inside. Will you consider double-teaming him in the fourth?
Broussard: [pause] Does it make it — the fact that they shoot so well from the three, does that make it tough to make that decision to go ahead and do that?
Carlisle: Yes. [pause] That's my Popovich impersonation.
Broussard: [laughs] Guys, back to you.
Credit Broussard for handling everything in stride, startled pause or not, and to Carlisle for acknowledging the ridiculousness of what he was doing. Even with his team down double digits, he had the ability to see the lighter side of things. I guess those Jim Carrey comparisons have some validity beyond the facial resemblance.
While it's unlikely that any of the Mavericks overheard Carlisle's interview, it surely cannot be a mere coincidence that they followed his bit of humor with a thrilling comeback. Led by Monta Ellis (37 points on 13-of-18 shooting) and Dirk Nowitzki (35 points on 13-of-20 shooting), Dallas won the fourth quarter 36-19 to take the game 123-120, limiting Howard's offense and pulling off the impressive comeback.
All I'm saying, really, is that we should keep an eye on how the head coaches respond to their in-game interview questions during Thursday night's TNT games. Carlisle may have changed the format forever.
(Video via @cjzero)
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