If Gregg Popovich didn’t struggle to get the memory of Game 6 of the NBA Finals out of his head all summer there would be something wrong with him.
You don’t get to be an NBA coach, let alone an elite one, without being very competitive. So to come within seconds of an NBA title only to watch that slip through your grasp on missed free throws, surrendering an offensive rebound and a game-tying three has to sting.
With the season starting up he is getting over it — in part thanks to his daughter Jill telling him to get over himself. Buck Harvey at the San Antonio Express-News sat down with Popovich and got him to tell the story.
“OK, Dad, let me get this straight: You won four championships, and you go to a fifth Finals. Other coaches lose all the time. But poor Greggy can’t lose because he’s special. Can you please get over yourself? End of story.”
He stared at her — then started laughing. Hadn’t his daughter told him the same get-over-yourself line he’s told so many others?
“That started me on the path to recovery,” he said.
Popovich’s daughter sounds a whole lot like Popovich. The apple falls near the tree and all that.
Competitors tend to dwell on hard losses more than wins — talk to a professional poker player and they tend to gloss over their victories but will give you ever detail of a bad beat. That sting lasts. It will with Popovich.
The only thing that will really help is a new season and a new challenge. That starts in a couple weeks. And the Spurs are once again title contenders.