Even though his players adore him, it must be hard to play for Gregg Popovich. Not only is he a perfectionist as a coach, he’ll also ridicule you if you ask a stupid question. Just ask Skeets. Some teachers will tell you there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but with Gregg Popovich, you might want to reconsider what you’re asking.
Plus, you can’t even have your appendix removed without getting made fun of to a bunch of reporters. From Mike Monroe at Spurs Nation:
“They took out his appendix,” Popovich said. “He didn’t come to practice.
“Remember when we got our appendixes taken out? Next day, we were out shoveling snow. He gets his appendix out, he’s lying in bed: ‘It hurts, Coach. I can’t do anything.’
“I sent him a little card. It had a doe on it, a little deer. It smelled of flowers and everything. I wanted him to know we were thinking about him. If I was worth anything, I would have thought of sending ice cream with it, just to make him happier.”
All Gary Neal is trying to do is get rid of a vestigial organ before the season starts and Gregg Popovich has to go and make him out to be a total wimp. So harsh. So Coach Pop.
But I guess that is why he’s the best. While Gary Neal is in the hospital recuperating like a sissy, Popovich is bringing the rest of the team together by passing around a greeting card, having everyone sign it and trading various wisecracks about Gary Neal’s cream puff appendix. It can be hard for a coach to reach players, but having a team-wide zing session is one of the best ways to build some camaraderie. This why the Spurs are so competitive every year.
Of course, Gary Neal probably feels differently. Just imagine him laid up in his bed, missing his appendix, checking out his new scar and really appreciating the card he got from the Spurs. Then he turns on the computer, goes on the internet and sees that his coach thinks he’s being a pantywaist about it.
It’s enough to make a guy wish he was Gary Forbes.