Hail Pop!

Published by Yoshi on 10th October - 19:27 (CET)
Often times people say stuff like "we are so fortunate to witness this era of basketball" referring to the great, talented players whose primes we get to follow and enjoy, but rarely do people stop and appreciate how fortunate they are to share their life timelines with one of (if not the) greatest coaches of all time; Mike Brown Gregg Popovich.

We all know about the five championships that the Pop Era Spurs have amassed and the many more they have been sniffing on during that same time. We know about the quality basketball Coach Pop has produced year in and year out where no one player is treated as greater than the whole (just ask Tony Parker). There's no need to mention all the ass-kicking Coach Pop has spear-headed in basketball, because you already know it.

Coach Popovich has during his tenure as the Spurs head coach (the longest tenure in all of American professional sports, by the way, with season 20 coming up) shown what a complete man he is off the court as well. It clearly takes some form of genius to dominate the NBA from a tiny little market such as San Antonio for two decades, but looking beyond basketball is where we truly see his brilliance.

Not only does the man have a tremendous sense of humor, as evident by his interviews and constant roasts of Craig Sager, he has consistently shown that character and IQ is more important to him than name, reputation or raw skills when bringing in new blood to his team. And ahead of the 16-17 season he has spoken out on social injustice issues which plague America, saying among other things:

I didn’t talk to my kids about how to act in front of a policeman when you get stopped. I didn’t have to do that. All of my black friends have done that. There’s something that’s wrong about that, and we all know that.

Now he has yet again one-upped himself and announced that he will quiz his players during the season on current non-basketball related issues to expand their horizons and help them get more engaged in their communities and the world. He even backs that decision by drawing parallels between the current state of the USA and the downfall of the Roman Empire - something pretty damn strong coming from the newly appointed head coach of Team USA.

Coach Pop has time and time again proven that he puts both brain and heart into everything he does, and it has proven to be a fantastic recipe for 20 years on the highest level of basketball. One of these days we won't have him around any longer, and all of us should make sure to absorb as much as we can from his greatness before he is gone, not only in basketball but also in life.


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