Skip to content

Before Game 1, Gregg Popovich helped a reporter with a crossword puzzle

Apr 22, 2013, 9:23 AM EST

Gregg Popovich AP

Gregg Popovich doesn’t care about the public perception of him as a curmudgeon. He honestly doesn’t care what people think. Period.

But he’s not a curmudgeon. He can by curmudgeonly, but there is a lot more to him than that one side. A really good profile of Pops by Joe Posnanski at NBC got at that. If you pique his interest on something, Popovich can be helpful and enlightening.

Here is an example of that side of him, based on what happened before Game 1 of the Spurs series against the Lakers Sunday (a game the Spurs went on to win). From the Spurs blog at the Express-News.

He used the word “discombobulated,” and the following exchange actually took place. A reporter told him, coincidentally, that “discombobulated” had come up in a recent New York Times crossword puzzle. Did Popovich happen to know a word, six letters and ending in “y,” that means the same?

For those who only see the terse side of his interaction with the media: Popovich wrote a note before the game and sent it to the reporter with two suggestions.

Punchy and groggy.

I have no idea if those were correct (in a quick search online I couldn’t find the puzzle in doubt, and certainly didn’t have time to solve it if I had).

But that’s Popovich. He’s not a simple guy easy to paint into a preconceived box, he’s a rounded and complex person. Who just happens to be the best coach in the game.

Latest Posts
  1. Kevin Garnett on Denver Nuggets: “A quitter is a quitter”

    Mar 5, 2015, 2:10 AM EST

    Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves Getty Images

    This after the Celtics just smacked the Timberwolves pretty good.

  2. Report: Mark Rachesky jumps into bidding for Hawks; price tag north of $900 million

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:14 PM EST

    Hawks pac man logo

    Don’t be shocked if the final price tag is close to $1 billion. Yes, for the Hawks.

  3. George Karl: Knicks could use a strong point guard next to Carmelo Anthony

    Mar 4, 2015, 5:15 PM EST

    Image (1) anthony_Karl-thumb-250x181-21662.jpg for post 6222

    Except you don’t really want a strong point guard in Phil Jackson’s triangle.

  4. P.J. Hairston has had a rough rookie season

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    Minnesota Timberwolves v Charlotte Hornets Minnesota Timberwolves v Charlotte Hornets

    Some guys turn things around, bu Hairston has a lot of work to do.

  5. Ray Allen announces he will not play this season

    Mar 4, 2015, 2:58 PM EST

    Miami Heat's Allen celebrates a three point shot against the Indiana Pacers during Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami Reuters

    Allen isn’t officially retiring just yet, says he’ll reassess things in advance of next season.

  6. Pelicans’ Anthony Davis a gametime decision Wednesday vs. Pistons

    Mar 4, 2015, 2:15 PM EST

    Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images

    Davis has missed the last six games with a shoulder injury.

  7. Russell Westbrook confirms he will play Wednesday night vs. Sixers

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:28 PM EST

    He should put up numbers against the Sixers. Then again he puts up numbers on everyone.

  8. NBA admits missed foul call in final minutes of Timberwolves’ loss to Clippers

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

    Andrew Wiggins, Spencer Hawes Andrew Wiggins, Spencer Hawes

    League is releasing officiating reports for all calls made in a close game’s final two minutes, and the results are fascinating.

  9. LeBron goes behind the back to avoid Avery Bradley on the break (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:40 AM EST

    Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Nifty but necessary move by LeBron to earn the easy two points.

Featured video

Is Derrick Rose the next Penny Hardaway?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. R. Westbrook (8123)
  2. K. Durant (6912)
  3. D. Cousins (6512)
  4. A. Davis (6435)
  5. D. Rose (6053)
  1. D. Howard (5949)
  2. L. James (5887)
  3. K. Irving (5861)
  4. J. Harden (5719)
  5. P. George (5395)