Why Is Everyone Giving Gregg Popovich Shit?
Curmudgeonly Gregg Popovich sideline interviews are as synonymous with Spurs basketball as Tim Duncan's bank shot. Over the years, Coach Pop's terse manner with reporters -- both during the game and after -- have gone full circle, becoming lovable in their own grouchy way. Even Pop seems to embrace it.
Because last night was the first night of the NBA season, and the Spurs were hosting the Mavs on TNT, we got our first taste of Pop out of the way early. Here's how a variety of websites chose to cover the short clip:
"It's Opening Night, & Gregg Popovich Is Already Fed Up With Interviews" [Deadspin]
"The NBA season just started and Gregg Popovich already hates interviews" [FTW]
"Gregg Popovich is Already in Mid-Season Interview Form and It's Opening Night" (First line of the story: "Gregg Popovich made it 3 quarters into the season before giving his first annoyed in-game interview.") [The Big Lead]
"Gregg Popovich Already Is Sick Of Media On NBA Opening Night" [NESN]
With headlines like these, you might imagine one of Pop's patented one or two word responses for each question, punctuated by long silences and even longer stares into the depths of David Aldridge's show, asking with his eyes why a man would ask such a stupid thing. Here's the video:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's just about the nicest Popovich has ever been on the sideline, that time he hugged Jeff Van Gundy aside. He smiles, he laughs, and he finishes by telling Aldridge "I love you." Do you tell people that you're annoyed with and/or fed up with that you love them? Probably not, at least not in the moment.
You wanna see Pop annoyed? How about when Aldridge asked him if he was "happy" during a game:
Now there's a man who doesn't want to talk to the media. Last night was downright jovial compared to that.
Whoever pulled this video first wanted Pop to be grouchy, and even when he didn't deliver, that's how it was spun -- and it's easier to write a headline around "Pop hates media" than "Maybe Pop doesn't hate media; maybe he actually LOVES them." Chalk it up to Internet groupthink.
(And if anyone says "We were just joking around, we know he was being lovable and not annoyed -- shut up.)
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