For all of Gregg Popovich’s gruff appeal to fans and media, he’s deadly serious when it comes to coaching his team. His consistent demand for, if not perfection, then something approaching it, makes him a taskmaster on the practice court, even as he inspires love and devotion from his team. Love was not on Pop’s mind after the Spurs’ narrow victory over the Mavericks on Monday, however.
Without any of the injured Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams or Andrew Bogut, the Mavs are one of the very worst teams in the NBA right now, and Popovich was furious that the Spurs allowed them to remain so close, even with LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker resting. Watch him unleash the fury:
“I thought it was a pathetic performance on the part of the Spurs. You know, they had some guys out, we had some guys out, but they had a lot more out than we did. And I thought we showed a lack of humility, a lack of respect for the opponent. A very pathetic performance at both ends of the court, both in execution and in grunt, in fiber, in desire. It was an awful performance. [Exits]
[Re-enters] And they deserved to win the basketball game. I forgot to say that.
Even in savaging his own team for not playing up to his standards, Pop snuck in a pretty solid burn on the poor Mavericks at the end. His comedic timing remains the best in the entire coaching world.