Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will be quick to correct any reporter who asks if he is “happy” with a player or the way the team is performing. Coaches are never happy, they are always worried in Popovich’s world.
So no, he’s not happy with the Spurs 18 game winning streak.
He’s been there before — the Spurs won 20 in a row including sweeping through the early rounds of the playoffs in 2012, only to have the Thunder overwhelm them in the conference finals.
No reporter who follows the Spurs is going to ask Popovich if he’s happy, so they asked Tony Parker instead, reports the Indy Star.
Point guard Tony Parker couldn’t help but be amused when asked how Popovich is handling the Spurs’ 18-game winning streak — a franchise record set with ease in Monday’s 103-77 road win over Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I don’t know. I think he’ll be happy if we lose any time soon,” Parker said.
Someone uttered the word “sabotage.” Parker laughed and said, “I’m pretty sure. He’s going to rest like half of the team.”
The Spurs will lose a game or two before the playoffs for just that reason — Popovich cares more about having his players rested for the playoffs than the team’s record. Which is easier to do when the Spurs are going to have the best record in the West anyway.
Right now the Spurs are at the top of their game, executing better than anyone in the league. He should be relatively happy. The question that should keep Popovich and Spurs fans up at night should be this: Is the best the Thunder or Clippers can play, with all their athletes, better than the best the Spurs can play? Those other teams are not there yet, but what if?
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.
NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.
The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.
Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.