Chances are that when San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich talks, you should listen. He’s weighed in on anthem protests, roster management and more.
Even with Tim Duncan retired, the San Antonio Spurs will be the San Antonio Spurs again this year. Which is to say that they’ll win between 50 and 60 games and terrify whichever team draws them in the playoffs.
The annual “the Spurs don’t get enough attention” narrative gets more attention than the actual team does at this point, which is a shame because there’s a lot to appreciate in San Antonio. Consider this, then, as a friendly reminder that Gregg Popvich is awesome and should be the NBA’s and America’s life coach, and not just because he makes life miserable for sideline reporters.
A local reporter asks Pop about the recent instances of police violence and the resulting protests across the country and, of course, about Colin Kaepernick and the other players across sports that are kneeling or raising fists during the national anthem.
We’ve seen some coaches say some dumb, misguided, indifferent or patronizing things about the situation (some, in fairness, have been thoughtful). Coaches are paid to coach and are answering questions through that prism, sure, but the inability or unwillingness to consider the questions as human beings is more than a little frustrating.
It’d be nice/helpful if coaches didn’t say things like these, for example: Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney called protests during the anthem a “distraction.” The USA national hockey team’s coach John Tortorella said he’d bench any of his players that didn’t stand for the anthem. Michigan football coach (and Kaepernick’s former coach in San Fransisco) Jim Harbaugh said that he doesn’t respect Kaep’s actions.
The list goes on, but you get the general idea.
Leave it to Popovich to actually provide some useful perspective when asked about “what’s going on in the country“:
I think it’s really dangerous to answer such important questions that have confounded so many people for hundreds of years, to ask me to give you my solutions, as if I had any, in 30 seconds. So if you want to be specific about a question, I’ll be more than happy to answer it because I think race is the elephant in the room in our country. The social situation that we’ve all experienced is absolutely disgusting in a lot of ways.
That’s a pretty good answer! Pop managed to avoid overstepping his bounds while still addressing the question thoughtfully. He doesn’t pretend that the discourse around major societal problems hasn’t made its way into the sports world, he doesn’t pretend that he (or anyone else) could possibly answer that question in a helpful way during a media scrum, and he adds some human, non-coach sentiment…..Read More
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