Nothing is assured in the NBA playoffs. Even though a Spurs-Warriors conference final felt inevitable since early in the season, the Thunder blew up that model and roughly shoved San Antonio out the door in six games. It might have been Tim Duncan’s last game, but it’s not quite time for the waterworks over that era’s end yet. If the only Spurs thing you watched last night was Gregg Popovich’s press conference, you might not realize you were supposed to be sad at all.
That’s because Pop seems relieved for the season to be over, so that he can take a month or two reading some good books and adding to his wine collection rather than watching tape, and it came through in that presser. Pop was in fine form, refusing to answer the questions that bored him as usual, but doing so sarcastically, mirthfully. He even winked after making fun of a reporter for pointing out the Spurs lost. He really did!
Of course, even though Pop might have been relieved, loose and convivial, he still dismissed questions and cut off reporters when they said something he considered boring or dumb. He’s still Pop, after all. He’s substantially less likely to call it quits after this season than Duncan or Manu Ginobili, which is a good thing — we’re not emotionally ready for an NBA without him.