It’s never a goal for Gregg Popovich or his players, but now that Popovich has been officially installed as coach for the Western Conference All-Star team, the veteran of 16-plus seasons on the Spurs’ bench admits he looks forward to a weekend with some of basketball’s best players.
Popovich earned his spot because the Spurs are guaranteed a better record than the Clippers on Sunday, the deadline for determining the coaches.
While it is still possible for Oklahoma City to have a better winning percentage than the Spurs, Thunder coach Scott Brooks isn’t allowed, by league rule, from coaching because he led the West at the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando.
“It will be just like it has been in the past: a heck of an opportunity to enjoy amazing talent,” Popovich said after his team’s 102-78 victory over the Bobcats. “That’s not just a B.S. or trite statement. It’s true. When you’re around those guys, you look around the room and you can’t believe you’re in the same room with them. It’s a huge honor just to be a part of it.”
Popovich also coached the West All-Stars in 2005 and 2011.
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra will coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, to be played on Sunday, Feb. 17 (8 p.m. ET), at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The Heat (30-14, .682) clinched the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 3, by virtue of its 100-85 road win against the Toronto Raptors.
Mike Monroe/S.A. Express-News