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Gregg Popovich to reporter in postgame press conference: ‘Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they?’ (video)

May 30, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

2013 NBA Finals - Game Seven 2013 NBA Finals - Game Seven

Correction: Upon closer listening, it sounds as if Popovich said “it’s” rather than “you’re” “not worth much.”

Games in the Spurs-Thunder series have been decided by 17, 35, 9, 13 and 28 points – and in the lone single-digit game, the winning team led by 20 late in the fourth quarter before surrendering a meaningless run.

Despite five blowouts, the series is as close as possible with San Antonio holding a 3-2 lead.

That’s quirky and somewhat interesting, but I have no clue how to explain it. If only there were a basketball genius fielding questions whom we could ask.

After the Spurs won Game 5, a reporter asked Gregg Popovich about the string of big wins by both teams.

  • Reporter: “Five games, five blowouts. To us who don’t really know the game, how do you explain that?”
  • Popovich: “You’re serious? You really think I can explain that?”
  • Reporter: “In simplest terms. I know you can. The question is, will you?”
  • Popovich: “Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they? They pay –”
  • Reporter: “Very little.”
  • Popovich: “Thus the question. It’s not worth much.”
  • Reporter: “That’s why I’m not up there.”

I hope the reporter wasn’t offended, though Popovich’s words – even with his laugh – were way out of line. I know I wouldn’t have been offended, because this is who Popovich is. He’s a jerk to the media. A long history of him acting like this might mean we shouldn’t take his retorts seriously, but normalizing them doesn’t make them acceptable.

To make matters worse as the exchange continued, the reporter clearly thought Popovich used “can’t” in the same way he says he “can’t” explain his tactical adjustments – as a synonym for “won’t.” But, in this case, I legitimately believe Popovich truly meant “can’t.” Of course, Popovich made no effort to get on the same page as the reporter, instead opting to belittle him.

Another reporter followed up and again asked whether Popovich can explain the series producing five routs. This time, Popovich answered:

No. There’s no way. I have no clue, honestly. I think every game, it’s a different animal. It really is. We talk to our team about that all the time. You have no clue what’s going to happen, how a team is going to come out, whether they’re going to be lethargic or hold the ball, don’t hold the ball, get 50-50 balls or don’t get 50-50 balls. The game is played once it begins, and adjustments start.Both sides are going to make their adjustments, whether it’s substitutions or changing pick-and-roll defenses or who you want to go to, how many minutes so-and-so should play. All that happens when the game starts. There are plays, there are calls, there are runs that happen that make momentum stop or get extended.  And then a lot of it has got to do with players making shots on a certain night, and it can go in either direction.

What do you know? Popovich had a reasonable reply in him all along.

  1. southbeachtalent - May 30, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    At some point Pop is going to walk across the press room holding up double birds while heading towards the nearest exit.

    • basketballhooper1 - May 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Im sorry, but does anyone else notice he says “It’s not worth much” as oppose to him saying “You’re not worth much?” There seems to be quite a difference between those two.

      • wlubake - May 30, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        Exactly. He’s saying the question isn’t worth much.

    • stayhigh_247 - May 31, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Pops & Belichek= Priceless (sometimes wordless)

  2. phillyguyindc - May 30, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    I dont understand why they still have press conferences, they bring little value to the team and the league. It’s a no win situation really- if the person gives bland answers they get blasted and if the give an honest answer the’re likely to be blasted for that too or it will get spun out of context into something to create controversy.

    Did the reporter really think he was going to have some ground breaking answer from the gods as to why there were 5 blowouts? Sports are not exact and are inherently different from one night to the next.

  3. savvybynature - May 30, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Seems like everyone had a good laugh about it. I know the media likes to protect its own, seems like you are being sensitive here.
    I’m sure whoever asked the question (friend of yours maybe?) will be fine. He’s an adult and this is his job after all.

    • sasquash20 - May 30, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      It was pretty friendly. I heard it and everyone involved was laughing and having fun. The reporter did not seem insulted or offended at all. Not even a little bit. This is a non story

  4. zerole00 - May 30, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    If you stop asking him stupid questions, he’ll stop belittling you. What does it tell you if he’s still belittling reporters?

    • ranfan12 - May 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      I always thought that was the main point of being a reporter honestly

  5. jetnotjets - May 30, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    It was a dumb question. Pop Just pointed that out, and he did nothing wrong. Nice fake media outrage over a fellow reporter getting called out on national tv though.

  6. jimsjam33 - May 30, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    Get over it . The reporter can now write that he was dogged by POP . An honor by an imagination !

  7. thenew013 - May 30, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Now he is just coming across as a DB. Don’t try to spread your misery to somebody that is just doing their job. I am sure he already knew the answer to the question but Pop is such a miserable old man you never know what kind of answer you’ll get. point proven.

    • bucrightoff - May 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      He deals with “journalists” asking consistently stupid questions for many years. I’d totally hate talking to the media too if I were him.

  8. davidly - May 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Just like City o’ Bro Love Fella in Nay Shuns Capital said: the post and in-game interviews are worthless, ie. add no value to the proceedings whatsoever. The exception that proves that rule is Pop’s potential to at least make them amusing instead of just jaw-droppingly stupid.

  9. spursareold - May 30, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I think Pop would give a 5 minute answer with a smile if these “sports reporters” would ever ask him a basketball question. They keep asking him to “explain” things, or how he “feels” about things. Ask him something about the way they hedge the pick and roll, or the options off of a given offensive set. It’s like the networks just moved reporters from Entertainment Tonight to cover the NBA.

  10. davidly - May 30, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    And another thing: the postgames for the losing team all-too often amount to little more than a public shaming spectacle guided by smart alecs.

  11. Bryce - May 30, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    stupid questions deserve a stupid response.

  12. ajw21 - May 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Thenew: I am guessing Pop enjoys his life much more then all of us. This is just Pop being Pop, I love every second of it.
    Go Spurs!

  13. mazblast - May 30, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Does anyone else remember MAD Magazine’s “Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions?” I think Pop does. He challenges the media hacks to bring an “A” game to him, since he’s long since proven he’s a genuine “A” coach (much to David Stern’s dismay). And guess what? They don’t have any game.

    I don’t know if he’s ever given these specific answers, but I’d love it if he did–

    Stupid Sideline Reporter: Coach, the game is tied at halftime. What does your team have to do in order to win?
    Pop: Score more points than the other team.

    Post-Game “Interview”: Coach, your team won the game. To what do you attribute this?
    Pop: Scoring more points than the other team.

    Same: Coach, tonight your defense excelled at containing Russell Westbrook. Can you give us details on how you did this?
    Pop: Can. Won’t. You may not have noticed, but the series isn’t over.

    The league suits and the national media get mad as heck at Popovich and the Spurs for not playing their game. The Spurs play basketball. They do it well. It makes the supposedly retired David Stern, his sock puppets, and the media hacks furious.

  14. muathjam21 - May 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    Good for Pop. Media/reporters is a cesspool of weasels and blood-sucking leaches. They have no problem manipulating words and plucking things out of context to push a certain agenda, and they’ll garner no sympathy from me.

    • antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Pop and the press are a match made in heaven then, because whenever he’s up there going through his tired routine he comes off as the biggest sleazeball in the room full of them.

  15. antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Exceptionally arrogant, snobbish and rude. I think i’m going to start calling him Gwyneth Popovich.

  16. 2016olympics - May 30, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Chris Broussard is a Munson.

  17. zukny1 - May 30, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    Sounds like the reported did well. Got a response that resonated across pretty much all sports radio 1. and 2 – he actually got the answer to the question.

    Crap like that moves reporters up in the world.

  18. urodaddy07 - May 31, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    He does not say “you’re not worth much”, and I think the reporters know he ‘s messing around with them.

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