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Fantastic read looks at contradictions that make up Popovich

Apr 19, 2013, 2:49 PM EDT

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Gregg Popovich is simply the best coach in basketball.

But he comes with inherent contradictions — he is both the curmudgeonly guy who has no use for Craig Sager between quarters and the guy players love and would run through a wall for. He is the guy who was perfectly happy coaching at no-scholarship, below D-III Pomona-Pitzer (where he recruited current lead assistant Mike Budenholzer) and the guy who is the head coach of the amazing Spurs dynasty.

If you read one thing today, it should be the fantastic Popovich profile by Joe Posnanski here at NBCSports.com. (If you think I’m promoting this just because I want to make my bosses happy, you don’t know me very well.)

Posnanski gets into all of it.

“Pop is first and foremost, a salt-of-the-earth good guy,” says Danny Ferry, who played for Pop, worked with Pop and is now GM of the Atlanta Hawks.

Yes, it begins there. People just like Pop. They can’t help it. Announcers who get little access and information still like Pop. Reporters he crushes with sarcasm still like Pop. Players he screams at or cuts down with biting remarks still like Pop. It is uncanny. “He has the best demeanor of any coach,” Kansas coach Bill Self says in deep admiration. “The absolute best.”

In a world of snippets of information without context, Posnanski is an antidote with fantastic long profiles and storytelling.

Trust me, just go read the whole thing. You’ll be happy you did. (And you can make my bosses happier in the process.)

  1. 4thquartermagic - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Pffft… from Posnanski’s lil snippet above, sounds like he forgot to interview the one guy on the planet Pop didn’t see eye to eye with. Stephen Jackson.

    Pop is a winner. When you win you can be whoever you want to be. Guaranteed if the Spurs didn’t have all the success they’ve had, Pops personality would wear on people. Winning cures all.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      Stephen Jackson doesn’t seem to get along with many people. Popovich is not unique in having trouble getting along with S-Jax.

      • teambringitstrong - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Why don’t you make that statement to the families he provides Thanksgiving dinner every year for in Oakland, CA. And BTW, S-Jax played for Pop twice. A poor man’s Phil Jackson.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        Not sure why I have to explain this… but you can commit charitable actions and still be difficult to get along with.

    • savvybynature - Apr 19, 2013 at 7:07 PM

      So based on a single snippet from a 1000+ word article you already know who he interviewed and who he didn’t?
      Man, your reading comprehension is off the charts!

  2. therealmarcg - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Somebody tel greg Popovich. He aint bout dis life.

  3. kb2408 - Apr 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I’m not disputing the fact that Pop might be the best coach in the league right now, but I’ve always found it interesting that he’s just automatically considered a great coach but Phil Jackson won because of great players. Great coaches are great BECAUSE they have great players. Tim Duncan is the best power forward ever, imo, how many titles would Pop have without him?

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 19, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      zip,zero, nada.

      Phil is a great coach, all great coaches have great player.
      I ask people, who is that coach who had 5 scrubs and won a title?

      • 4thquartermagic - Apr 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

        The 2012 Denver Nuggets ; )

  4. kavika6 - Apr 20, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    Pop can be a sour, grumpy pain in the neck sometimes but is still MUCH more likeable than phil jackson.

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