Gregg Popovich gives pep talk to San Antonio food bank, gets grilled about 2013 NBA Finals in return

For at least one moment, a pep talk to a San Antonio food bank turned into a grilling session for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Per the San Antonio Express-News, Popovich took some time to talk to workers for the San Antonio Food Bank through a conference call on Monday and give some encouragement in the face of the ongoing crisis.

“It was pretty sweet, pretty special,” Food Bank president and CEO Eric Cooper said, per the Express-News.

The talk was apparently well-received by Food Bank workers, who reportedly completed an overtime-heavy drive-thru distribution to feed 10,000 households days earlier.

A question-and-answer session soon reportedly followed, and featured some obvious queries. However, one worker dove in with a question that we’re guessing they had been waiting to ask Popovich for a while.

From the Express-News:

“I kind of asked (Popovich) some questions and different staff asked different questions like, ‘What are you doing now? What are the players doing?” Cooper said. “Someone even asked him why he benched Timmy (Duncan) in Game 6 (of the 2013 NBA Finals against Miami), and I was like, ‘Oh, man.’

If only all food bank workers could get to ask their favorite team’s coach a burning question after working overtime to feed thousands.

For what it’s worth, Popovich provided the following explanation following that game when asked why Duncan wasn’t on the floor, from NBC Sports:

“It’s not that simple,” Popovich said. “That’s not why they got the threes. We were up five when they got their first three, and so redding and switching makes sense just to take away the three. But on an offensive rebound, it’s one of the toughest things in the NBA, to pick up people. And we had one guy who didn’t pick up. LeBron shot an airball when we were up five. They got the rebound, they got it back to him and he knocked it down.

“And then on the last possession, we were switching at the three‑point line to take away the three, and Boris Diaw has a little more speed than Tim Duncan, so it makes sense to have him out there redding at the three‑point line. Unfortunately we had two guys that went to LeBron and didn’t switch with [Chris Bosh], and he went right to the hole. He’s the guy who got the rebound, so it has nothing to do with Duncan.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, left, talks to Spurs' Tim Duncan during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. San Antonio 102-91. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
The question definitely wasn't asked by a person who looked exactly like Tim Duncan with a big mustache. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

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