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Like the rest of us, Gregg Popovich finds the government shutdown ridiculous

Oct 15, 2013, 9:17 AM EDT

Gregg Popovich pregame interviews can be fascinating. Most of the time they are banal (like all coach pregame interviews, frankly), or occasionally he’s already in curmudgeon mode.

Then there are the moments when he is talkative, funny and you get a little glimpse of the Popovich his players and friends rave about. Apparently he was in that place before the Spurs played the Nuggets Monday, when Matt Moore of CBS’s Eye on Basketball asked him if he has talked about the government shutdown with his players.

In what is a deeply political issue, Popovich sounded the populist tone of “a pox on both their houses” in a well spoken way. (And I fully agree with him on the broad point, having long thought Washington is about people fighting what they see as a zero-sum game for power and any policy, whether you like it or hate it, is just a byproduct of the fight.)

“We talk about a lot of things with the team. We haven’t gotten really specific with the shutdown… Most foreigners think we’re pretty silly,  and they’re correct. It’s children fighting over their toys, so to speak. It’s got nothing to do with the public or what’s good for the country. It’s about winning and losing, and that doesn’t do any of us much good. Hopefully they’re going to get to some sort of agreement in the next couple of days that might be good for the American people.

“It’s funny how each of them talks about what the American people want. The leaders from one side, they talk and say ‘The American People want…’ How the hell do these people know what they want? They live in a fishbowl. And then the other side says the same thing. It’s kind of comical, if it wasn’t so dramatically devastating for so many people.”

  1. gmsingh123 - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    You mean Pop can rest his players all the time but the govt. can’t?

    • kavika6 - Oct 16, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      The Spurs vets are competent and Pop rests them for the good of the team. The players (minus Stephen Jackson) are extremely loyal to Pop and would follow him to the ends of the earth. The president and congress are incompetent and their undeserved vacation doesn’t help anyone.

      A better comparison would be the entire Spurs team refusing to show up for a game because Pop and his supporters are forcing the players to do something ridiculously stupid like wearing pink tutus and ten gallon hats for every home game.

      • gmsingh123 - Oct 16, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        No, that wouldn’t be a better comparison because the majority of Congress has no problem with showing up, whereas a small contingent has caused the govt. to shut down. But it was only supposed to be an offhanded remark and that’s it. Pop is one of the best guys in the NBA and I was just trying to poke fun at him.

  2. misremembered72 - Oct 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    gotta love Pop

  3. bullsfannotabudman - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Pop is a great basketball coach. Political analyst, uh, not so much. He’s bought into the false equivalency story. The way we know what the American people want is by having elections. An intelligent analysis would address the Hastert rule in the House of Representatives.

    And in more important news for what the American people want – DRose is back!!! Jimmy Butler is coming, and Taj is better than Carlos. Go Bulls!

  4. boondocksaint224 - Oct 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I love Pop. He just gets things, and is 100% devoid of BS.

    I’m tired of our “leaders” playing a game of chicken while our country falls apart, too.

  5. miamatt - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Pop isn’t willing to lie and kiss butt enough to be a politician, but man, how hilariously awesome would it be if he were the Speaker of the House or something?

  6. ranoversquarells - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Go Obama!

    • skids003 - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Yes, away.

      • gmsingh123 - Oct 16, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        skids sounds like a Ted Cruz fan. Hey, at least the GOP still has a 24% approval rating!

  7. johngalt1783 - Oct 15, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    When speaking with the sports media Pop should stick to basketball and maybe recommending some good restaurants and bars in San Antonio.

    • redbaronx - Oct 16, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      @johngalt1783 – First of all, anyone can comment, just like you do. Pop is within his rights. Plus he served in the USAF.

  8. cambo0019 - Oct 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    @johngalt1783 why should he just stick to talking about basketball? Clearly the sports media wanted to know what his opinion consisted of, hence why they asked him the question.
    Its healthy to show that there’s more to you than just the sport.
    and yes, many people from other country’s laugh at us because politics is a competition and no longer a governing body of people that truly represent the people.

    Hell……….. who in their right mind spends millions to literally make a few 100,000.00 dollars within that profession? Its all about power and not helping!

    • p31squared - Oct 16, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      You’re not naive enough to think politicians use their own money to fund their elections are you? They raise money through donors (lobbyists) who then in turn expect a favor when that person is elected. And therein lies the problem…

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