Even though he’s notoriously difficult to deal with (i.e. blunt) during in-game interviews, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has never been shy about his genuine affection for ailing sideline reporter Craig Sager. In fact, Sager’s first interview with Poppovich after returning from his battle with leukemia was among the more heartwarming things about the 2015-16 season.
But now Popovich is back to his normal, cantankerous self and not even Sager can bring out the longtime coach’s softer side. He just really hates the NBA’s insistence on performing these interviews with coaches between the first and second and third and fourth quarters.
In an interview before the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s playoff game against the Thunder, Pop gave two succinct answers to Sager’s questions: “much better” and “he’s real good at it, that’s a tough job.”
These in-game interviews never provide much depth or analysis, and Pop is always going to make things extra painful to watch, but deep down we know he and Sager are still close.