Perhaps the most interesting subplot of this weekend’s USA Basketball minicamp involves the newest member of the San Antonio Spurs and the team’s longtime head coach. In addition to the various opportunities to check out the players that might represent the national team at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2020 Olympics, this is the first chance for DeMar DeRozan to suit up for and work with his new coach, Gregg Popovich.
There are questions about how much longer Popovich will be in San Antonio, but for now, he’s at the helm of a team that has a new superstar in place of Kawhi Leonard. During the team’s practice on Thursday afternoon, Popovich took it as an opportunity to instruct DeRozan, who seemed to enjoy doing some 1-on-1 work with his new coach.
After practice, DeRozan spoke about how excited he was for the opportunity to work with Popovich.
“His resume speaks for itself,” DeRozan said, according to My San Antonio. “If you are a basketball fan and you know the game, Pop is one of those guys you definitely have to be a fan of, inside and out.”
It’s just a few moments in what the Spurs will hope is a long and successful pairing between coach and player, but first impressions are always important, and both guys got the chance to make one on one another on Thursday.