San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has not held back in his public estimation of newly-sworn in president Donald Trump, as the longest-serving coach in North American pro sports already painted himself as aghast that his country would elect a leader who had energized his base with a series of “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” remarks.
With Trump now elected, Pop wasted little time in discussing the 45th president’s first few hours, and the “thin-skinned” fallout that hit the airwaves on Saturday after the free press accurately reported on the attendance at his inauguration on Friday. Prior to Saturday’s nationally-televised affair against the defending champion Cavaliers in Cleveland, Popovich spent some time with the assembled media:
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Spurs' Gregg Popovich on Donald Trump: "you really can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth."
Oh…and there was more. A lot more: pic.twitter.com/UIVL0FYtf7
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 22, 2017
None of this is especially untrue or outrageous, but this is still an NBA coach pointing out to his fans that, to this point in his president’s term, he “really can’t believe anything that comes out of” the “mouth” of a sitting president. That will raise some eyebrows.
Former Spurs reserve point guard Doc Rivers, who played with the team when Popovich worked in San Antonio’s front office, took a lighter approach in his discussion before his Clippers’ game in Denver on Saturday evening:
Doc with a timely joke as he steps up to the pregame press conference in Denver: "I see we have the largest crowd in sports history"
— Rowan Kavner (@RowanKavner) January 22, 2017
Pop actually named a few names, though..
Just a few hours past White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s astonishing monologue of a news conference on Saturday, which was almost solely dedicated toward admonishing the press for correctly documenting the relatively low turnout for Trump’s swearing-in ceremony, Popovich lambasted the secretary for “helping Trump spread information” that is provably untrue. Kellyanne Conway, the former Trump campaign spokeswoman and current Trump counsel, was also cited by the longtime San Antonio coach.
Taking on the “thin skinned” day-old president, Popovich moved in:
“Their message is obvious,” Popovich said. “That our president comes in with the lowest (approval) rating of anybody whoever came into the office. And there’s a majority of people out there, since [Democratic presidential nominee] Hillary [Clinton] won the popular vote, that don’t buy his act. And I just wish that he was more – had the ability to be more – mature enough to do something that really is inclusive rather than just talking and saying, ‘I’m going to include everybody.’ He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it.”
Speaking on the heels of the just as provably-true depictions of the massive turnouts for Saturday’s Women’s Marches across North America, Popovich toss out his appreciation for those that took to the streets in opposition following Trump’s inauguration:
“I felt great today watching the march in protest to how he has conducted himself, because it tells me hey, I really do live in a country where a whole lot of people care,” Popovich said. “And we have to be vigilant to make sure that, although we all hope that he does good things for our country, that we don’t get, you know, embarrassed by him, and roll back liberties that have been worked for so long in so many different areas.”
One gets the feeling the new president will continue to supply the five-time coaching champion, who works for an owner in Peter Holt that donated a quarter-million to Trump’s election campaign, with all the fodder he’ll need moving forward, especially if the president continues to use his rare chances to speak to his electorate to discuss the relative size of crowds, and other wholly unimportant trivia.
One would also suspect that Gregg Popovich wants absolutely nothing to do with being served such fodder, and that he’d prefer his elected officials get back to caring about (much less speaking about) things that actually matter.
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