Team USA coach Gregg Popovich has enough on his plate already. Before training camp in Las Vegas even got underway this summer, USA Basketball saw a mass exodus of stars who opted to forego their spots on the team destined to defend its gold medal at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in China at the end of the month.
Pop has thus been tasked with making the most out of its current roster on finding some continuity that will allow them to avoid disasters like the ones at the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup. To be certain, the men’s national team is still loaded with talent, and arguably more talent than any other team in the field.
Nonetheless, Pop is locked in, as usual. And sticking with his long-time protocol, that means he has no time for sideline reporters, even when he’s not currently coaching the game in progress, and even if it’s an entirely different sport in a whole other country. So when Australian TV reporter Brian Taylor approached Pop at the Aussie rules football match between Collingwood and Essendon, the long-time Spurs coach simply turned tail and walked away without saying a word.
Pop gave BT donuts 😂 pic.twitter.com/8DU7CTZsp0
— 7AFL (@7AFL) August 23, 2019
Just like in the NBA, it made for wonderfully awkward television. But Taylor shouldn’t feel too bad. Even the NBA’s most prestigious sideline reporters have incurred Pop’s wrath at some point, so Taylor has earned his stripes.
Pop and Team USA were set to square off against the Boomers on Friday night in the second of their three tune-up games prior to the World Cup next month. Pop has praised the Australian national team as one of the favorites in the field to win the tournament, so despite these being exhibition games, you can bet he’s approaching them with the appropriate level of seriousness.