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Old 08-31-12, 01:48 PM
Eddy from Austin's Avatar
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Mailbag with…Gregg Popovich


Ben Swanson
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Question: What is your favorite thing a reporter has ever asked you?

Gregg Popovich: (Chuckles) I’m just going to assume that I’ve never had a favorite. I’ve had some real wing-dingers that they’ve asked me but I can’t say they’re favorites.


Sean
Location: California

Question: Do you golf? What's your handicap?

GP: I think the last time I golfed was about 10 or 12 years ago, honestly. I really love being near a golf course, they’re beautiful, and I’ve been at events at golf courses, but I haven’t stepped out and hit a ball in over 10 years. It takes too much time. I’ve got other things I’d rather do.


Michael
Location: Australia

Question: Hi Pop, what do you think Patty Mills brings to the Spurs this season after seeing his Olympic performance?

GP: Well, I didn’t need to see his Olympic performance to know what he can bring, it’s just that he came to us so late last year it was really hard to incorporate him into what we were doing. But he’s an aggressive, fiery, offensive player. He can shoot the three and really score, and that’s what he looks to do when he comes in the game. So he’ll be a game-changer in that sense, at the offensive end. And defensively he’s kind of like a pest—he’s not very big but he’s really a gamer. He’s got great courage and he gets into people, trying to really bother them and get them off their game. So his competitiveness and offensive skills are what we’re looking forward to mostly.


Josh Guyer
Location: Houston, TX

Question: Where is your favorite vacation destination?

GP: Well I went up to Montana, up into the mountains fishing this year with some friends, and I had never been to Montana to do that before so that was a new thing. Other than that I didn’t do anything that was exciting or of note.


Stephen Gonzalez
Location: San Antonio

Question: Seeing as how well the offense came together last season, is defense a bigger priority throughout training camp?

GP: You know it’s always a priority with us, but you know we’re never going to reach the level that we were at five, six years ago defensively. It’s just impossible to do that for a variety of reasons. But it still has to be an emphasis, we can get better and we have to if we want to compete with these guys that, as you said, added so many players to their team.


Ryan
Location: Los Angeles

Question: Who are some of your favorite musical artists, and any amazing live shows you've seen come to mind?

GP: The last live show I’ve seen was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. And they’re still one of my favorites, you know the old stand-bys. I was a big Motown guy for a long time, being from that part of the country, and that sort of morphed into Jimmy Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Led Zepplin , those kind of guys. And being here in Texas you can’t help but hear country music here and there. Everybody takes a different path in life and about three years ago I started listening to a Patsy Cline album and it just blew me away. I just am still amazed by her voice, and the guys and my family say “jeez, are we going to listen to that again?” So that’s the newest one, and another one: Terri Clark. Somebody gave me a CD by her, a country gal, and I love it. It’s really great. So I listen to that, and everything else is sort of foreign. It’s Egyptian, Usef, he’s an Egyptian guy, or Turkish music. That kind of thing. So pretty strange, a lot of different things.

What about any of Stephen Jackson’s?

Jack used to try to give me some of his tapes, but, first of all I couldn’t even understand what was going on, and some of them you could even dance to, but once I started hearing what they were saying and everything I just gave them back.



Lucas Hong
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Question: What kind of season do you see Kawhi Leonard having next season? Also, where do you see him in five years?
GP: I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.


Mark H
Location: San Antonio

Question: With all these teams trying to stack their rosters over the summer, Lakers and Heat come to mind, how do you prepare yourself and the team for this coming season?

GP: What other teams do is not in our control, so we'll worry about, as I said, incorporating Kawhi into the program more since he wasn’t here very long. Boris, Patty Mills, look for improvement in Danny Green, work our big guys. Tiago and DeJuan Blair I think are going to have very good seasons for us. So we’ll concentrate on that and what we need to do as a group, and we’ll see how we stack up.

Daniel Brooks
Location: Japan

Question: What books are you reading in the offseason?

GP: I usually have a group of books that I read at the same time because I never sit long with one and I’ve got something to do and get back to it, but at this point I’m close to finishing a book about Stalin and another book about Putin. And then on the fiction side I’m trying to get through a book called Ulysses, but I’m not man enough for it. Too difficult to understand, too many big words, concepts that are way over my head, but I’ve always told myself I have to tackle this. I do about every three years try to read it. I’ve never had success yet.


Brian Lanot
Location: Philippines

Question: Hi Pop, what number did you use when playing basketball? Any particular reason you wore that number?

GP: You know, I wore 20 and 21. Those were my numbers. I have no idea why I chose those but they were my numbers at the Air Force Academy.


Logan
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Question: How happy were you to be able to re-sign all of your free agents?

GP: Well we thought we were very fortunate and we were very happy that we were able to sign our guys, that we could bring Boris back and Danny back. And they’re going to be even better for us this year, so that’s what we look for in improvement, for them to understand the system more, for Kawhi Leonard to be here in training camp, and so in a sense those three guys are like new players for us. We regard them almost like free agents, and we look forward to them rounding out the group that’s been here.


Erwin
Location: New York, NY

Question: Hello Coach Popovich, since your team is one that has greatly used international scouting and are constantly adding new international players, what is the biggest adjustment international players have to make when going to the NBA?

GP: I think initially it’s just getting used to the players they’re playing against, and getting a feel for how the game flows. How referees call things, and how a game flows, but socially all these guys are more worldly than most American players, they’ve played on teams over there and travelled to many countries, they know several languages, so socialization is not a big deal at all. It’s just getting used to the league.


Sathiyan
Location: Berkeley, CA

Question: Who was the most coachable player you have ever had on your roster?

GP: Over all my time? Wow. I would say that we’ve had a steady stream of players that have been very team-oriented. And usually when people are team-oriented they’re also very coachable, so it’s hard to pick. I’d say the guy I’ve been toughest on, and he’s come through it all, is Tony Parker. In that sense, he’s listened to me and believed in what I told him even when he was angry with me or at times didn’t understand what I was talking about. But he trusted me, and I’ll always appreciate that.

Deanna
Location: San Antonio

Question: Pop, what is your assessment of the Spurs players who played during the Olympics?

GP: It was really a good experience for them. I know they all wanted to win medals and that sort of thing, but winning medals has often times got a lot more to do with circumstances and timing and those sort of things. You know Argentina’s best years were a few years ago when they were a little bit younger and a little bit deeper as a group, but I really enjoyed their competitiveness. Same with the French team, they went out and competed and did a great job, Tony leading the French obviously and Manu leading the Argentinians. Tiago did the same thing in Brazil, but you know Boris and Nando De Colo both played on the French team. So they all got good experience, and I think playing organized basketball in the summer is always a plus.


Jose
Location: San Antonio

Question: What is a typical film room session like, and which elements do you particularly try to key in on, emphasize, or correct?

GP: When we do films the first thing we do is try not to make them too long, because I think that players know pretty quickly what you’re talking about and what your point is. Beating them over the head with an hour film reaches a point of diminishing returns, so we’ll usually pick out a couple of items on defense and a couple of items on offense. Like, how successful we were regarding the pick and roll in a previous game, or on offense how well we move the ball or what the pace of the game might have been. Just show them three or four clips in each area that exemplify what we’re trying to get across, and because they’re intelligent guys, that’s really all that’s necessary.


Adam Finch
Location: Washington DC

Question: I know you're a wine man, but I was wondering, what's your favorite beer?

Thanks,
Adam

GP: Stroh's. In the tall bottle.


Joseph Kuhl
Location: Austin, TX

Question: What advice do you have for aspiring basketball coaches (other than get Tim Duncan as your centerpiece)?

GP: Buy a coat and a tie, and get a job.
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Last edited by Eddy from Austin; 08-31-12 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-31-12, 02:23 PM
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I can see it now, Pop cooling out on his veranda, wearing his flip-flops sipping a nice Chardonnay or Bordeaux listening to Led Zepplin while checking out his CD on Terri Clark, who is very pleasing to the eye, I might add. What a life.
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Old 08-31-12, 02:42 PM
Eddy from Austin's Avatar
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Old 08-31-12, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy from Austin View Post

I guess sitting on the veranda was a stretch. Cozy top hat instead of flip-flops is better.
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Old 08-31-12, 03:08 PM
Eddy from Austin's Avatar
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This would have to be from his college days.
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Old 08-31-12, 03:15 PM
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Then he hasn't aged a day since 1960. Maybe I'll have to take a sip or three of wine regularly.
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