There are very few people in the NBA who have a problem with Gregg Popovich. Players consistently vote him among the coaches for whom they most want to play. He’s done some remarkable work at the helm of the San Antonio Spurs, building a dynasty there that still holds some power.
Plus, he’s generally well-liked in the media. He can be gruff and poke fun at the assembled members in San Antonio and on the road, and his in-game interviews are famously short and to the point, but it’s not without respect. At this point in his career, he knows how to play the game and what the media wants. But sometimes they don’t want anything at all, it seems, and Popovich knows that his required media obligations don’t have to include him waiting around for people to get their collective sh*t together.
That appears to have been the case on Saturday, as Pop’s pregame talk with the media before Game 4 of Spurs-Nuggets was incredibly short. Popovich sat down, and after a few seconds of no questions, he simply said “thank you” and walked away.
So what happened here? It’s not really clear, but it seems like no one made any indication that there would be questions for the Spurs coach. In the postseason, these press conferences are often held in staged areas where a team’s media relations employee has a microphone and runs the show. Other employees often have microphones for reporters who ask the questions so it’s all picked up by TV cameras and everyone’s recorders.
It looks like, in this case, no one asked for the microphone, and perhaps the media was elsewhere. An open locker room session often runs during the same time a head coach is scheduled to speak, so it’s entirely possible the main reporters who ask questions were elsewhere in the building working. Either way, there won’t be any pregame quotes from Popovich appearing in game stories. But it is certainly a hilarious moment in what was a tense day in the NBA.