Great Read on Gregg Popovich

duncan popp
Rule No. 1 on how to ask Gregg Popovich a question: Do not ask if he’s happy. He’s not happy. There are no exceptions to this. Well, it’s possible that he might be happy when he’s with his wife or friends in the best restaurant in any given city (and it’s ALWAYS the best restaurant), drinking the right wine, talking about the world. But he’s not going to talk to you about that. As a basketball coach, he’s not happy. Ever.

Example 1 (David Aldridge on the sidelines): “Are you happy with …”

Pop: “Happy? Happy? Happy’s not a word we think about in the game.”

Example 2 (reporter before game in Los Angeles): “Are you happy that the playoffs are about to begin?”

Pop: “Happy is not a concept coaches are comfortable with.”

* * *

Rule No. 2 on how to ask Gregg Popovich a question: Never ask him something obvious. He really hates that.

Example (before a game in Golden State): Pop talked a bit about how poorly his team was playing — he thought this was the worst his Spurs had ever played going into the playoffs. A reporter asked: “Are you concerned about that?”

Pop (glaring): “No. The [stinkier] the better. Come on, man.”

* * *

Rule No. 3 on how to ask Gregg Popovich a question: Never try to trick him or coax him into saying something controversial. It won’t work. And he doesn’t like it.

Example (in Los Angeles before Lakers game): “Pop, with the problems the Lakers are having, would you want them in the first round of the playoffs?”

Pop: “Do you really think an NBA coach would answer that? … Give me credit for being halfway intelligent.”

* * *

Reporter 1: This Warriors team plays fast and shoots a lot from the perimeter … are there differences between this Warriors team and teams of the past?

Pop: I don’t spend much time thinking about the past. All I care about is what they do now.

Reporter 1: What do they do now?

Pop: What you said.

Reporter 2: Is there a danger against them because they shoot so many threes?

Pop: People shoot the ball well, that’s a good thing.

If you prefer you prefer, the exchange could also be translated like so:

Reporter 1: This Warriors team plays fast …

Pop: You are wasting my time.

Reporter 1: What do they do now?

Pop: Still wasting my time.

Reporter 2: Is there a danger …

Pop: And now you’re wasting my time.

Rule No. 4 on how to ask Greg Popovich a question: Never try some jokey question to break the ice or get some quirky answer. He’s not in the mood for that. Ever.

Example (in San Antonio before Minnesota game): “Hey Pop, do you want to offer an over-under on how many points Kevin Durant will score tonight?” (Durant needed a bunch of points to win the scoring title … in the end he did not even play).

Pop: “No.”

* * *

Rule No. 5 on how to ask Gregg Popovich a question: Never offer him coaching advice or pretend to know too much. He doesn’t like that.

Example (reporter before game at Golden State): “Do you think against a young team that it would be good to build a big lead?”

Pop: “I don’t know how to go out and get a big lead. If you know how to do it, let me know.”

* * *

Rule No. 6 on how to ask Pop a question: Whatever the question, listen carefully to the answer.

* * *

Joe Posnanski: Gregg Popovich – The Bully, The Buddy, The Winner

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