Gregg Popovich is well known for not being the most expansive when answering reporters’ questions (or, put more bluntly, just being a dick sometimes). And nowhere is this lack of patience for question-and-answer sessions more manifest than in sideline interviews (where hardly anyone ever sys anything interesting, to be fair). So when Craig Sager lobs a couple questions Pop’s way during breaks in the action, it’s to be expected that the coach will say almost nothing back.
But last night, during his team’s 108-103 loss to the Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, Popovich hit a level of curtness that was a sight to behold even for him. Sager asked the coach two questions. And… let’s just say the majority of the interview consisted of those questions:
On the one hand, I get John-Tortorella-like pangs of discomfort when a coach’s dismissive attitude toward media is then celebrated by media. On the other, unlike Tortorella’s press conferences, I was actually thoroughly amused by the above. Popovich hates the interview process, no doubt, but he did seem to have some fun giving Sager as little information as possible, and it struck me as being done in a more harmless way than Tortorella’s shtick.
It could be that this was a sideline interview and not a press conference, and again, no one really cares that much about sideline interviews. It could be that the interview was with Craig Sager, who has a pretty high level of familiarity with Popovich at this point and, by wearing stuff likes this, basically begs you not to take him seriously. It could be that Pops’ and Torts’ acts are one and the same, and I’m just a Popovich homer. Whatever it is, rather than condemning Popovich’s four words, I find myself eagerly anticipating Game 6, and whether he can beat his own record for near-silence.