San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has developed a reputation as one of the least forthcoming figures in basketball when it comes to speaking with the media. Unfortunately for Pop, he's required to speak to a sideline reporter at least once during all nationally televised games. In the past, Popovich has approached this task with barely concealed disdain, treating the task as a ridiculous imposition on his actual job of coaching the Spurs. It's often funny, but there's also something a little mean about it.
Recently, however, Popovich has brought a little friendlier humor to the situation. That was most obvious when interviewed by his old coaching buddy Jeff Van Gundy, even if that back-and-forth devolved into something like an incomprehensible inside joke.
On Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls, though, Popovich reached a new comedic high while in conversation with ESPN's Mark Jones. With the Spurs down 68-61 to the visiting Chicago Bulls entering the fourth quarter, Jones asked Popovich about the course of the game. Popovich responded with only two words.
It's true — the Spurs were behind. Of course, that's not so much a thought on the third quarter as a thought on the game as a whole, but let's not be so picky.
I have never been the biggest fan of Popovich's lack of patience for the between-quarters interview, but this case is very different. In giving such a short and valueless answer, he is almost using the constraints of the form to be as ridiculous as possible. After years of these bits, he knows we're in on the joke. He's not just upset he has to do it — he's having a little fun with the whole ordeal.
The bad news is that this rousing speech didn't help the Spurs engineer a comeback — they lost 96-86. My guess is that Pop had more than two words to say about his team's performance when he addressed them in the locker room.
(Video via @cjzero)
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