The San Antonio Spurs bounced the Memphis Grizzlies from the NBA playoffs on Thursday night with a 103-96 victory in Game 6. Grizzlies guard Mike Conley had a very strong series, averaging 25 points and seven assists, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about what he’s seen from Conley over the years at the postgame press conference.
After all, Conley has faced the Spurs in the playoffs four times, so getting the opposing coach’s perspective is a smart thing to do. But how did Popovich, who can be a real grump, answer the question?
Mike Conley has always been a heck of a player. He’s never gotten his due. I’m not just saying that to be nice because we’ve won. I’ve probably said it five times during the playoffs. He’s been the most underrated point guard in the league for a while. When everybody talked about point guards, they mention four or five guys and its’ always the same guys. This kid has a really high basketball IQ. He shoots it. He drives it. He passes. He runs his team. He’s incredible.
If you’re a reporter, that’s a heck of a quote for your Conley story. It’s thoughtful, complete and hits on all the notes you’d want to hit in your Conley story. Some coaches can be jerks when it comes to talking about other team’s players, but Popovich comes up big here.
But later in the same press conference, this happened.
Easily the best part of the exchange is the woman in the audience that is unable to muffle her laugh when Popovich says, “Did you just get here?” This is a thing that happens way too often during press conferences and media scrums. A reporter gets their late, probably because they’re in another scrum listening to another interview, then they waltz over to one that’s in progress and ask a question that was asked five minutes earlier.
To avoid this, especially in this setting, simply ask someone if your question has been asked already. You can always go back and watch the video (it’s up there!) and transcribe your quote that way. This could have gone much worse if Popovich had lost Game 6.