We’ve known for a long time that Gregg Popovich hates talking to the press. Whether it be before a game, during a game or after a game, the man has no use for talking about basketball with people who write about basketball. The ironic thing is that even when he’s openly hostile to reporters, it still comes off hilarious. I guess that’s his character, some sort of hoops version of an elderly Jeff Winger.
But, since none of us here are Spurs beat reporters, we don’t really know what it’s like to try to interview the San Antonio head coach. Thankfully, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star has a little Q&A with Popovich for your perusal. As you would guess, it’s great.
Me: There was some suggestion he might be interested in being in the three-point contest all-star weekend. As a franchise … would you like to see him there or did you lobby to get him there?
Him: We don’t do much lobbying but if he went to it, that’d be fine, I don’t really care one way or the other.
Me: Neither do I, I’m just trying to elicit a quote.
Him: Yeah. I know, I’m not that helpful, I realize.
Me: That’s quite all right.
Him: But I just don’t care.
(Me, to myself: okay, let’s try another angle)
This rodeo trip, do you get used it as the years go by? Is it easier to manage players?
Him: I don’t think about it. I’m a real simple guy.
Me (to myself) Arrgh!
You’re killing me here.
Him: I’ll make up some stuff so you’ll have something good. I’ll get funny.
Yep, pretty much exactly what you’d expect. Zero interesting answers about anything, but an understanding that the reporter’s just doing his job and that Popovich will maybe try to help.
Or not. Basically, it’s up to him and how he’s feeling. And usually, he’s feeling sarcastic. Good for us, not so good for the beat guys.