But it wasn’t that simple for Steve Kerr. Unbeknownst to the Golden State Warriors’ affable first-year head man, his mentor and former coach, Gregg Popovich, never stops thinking of ways to improve the defending champion San Antonio Spurs – especially after a loss like Friday night’s.
The Big Three won’t be around forever, Boris Diaw’s renaissance might be on its last and heaviest legs, and Kawhi Leonard will need help to guide San Antonio as its new face of the franchise going forward. Always one for planning, Popovich already has a new running mate for the Finals MVP in mind: impending Warriors free agent Draymond Green.
Kerr: Good game tonight.
Popovich: Shut up and drink your Rock & Hammer.
Kerr: So touchy — you guys were on a back-and-back after I put Duncan through hell over All-Star.
Popovich: That wasn’t even funny on the weekend.
Kerr: Yeah, well we both gotta come outta the West.
Popovich: I’m thinking it’ll be easier when we’ve got Dray.
Popovich: Yeah, we’re gonna give him whatever Kawhi lets us take away from the max.
Kerr: He’s taking a paycut?
Popovich: Are you kidding — Timmy and the fellas would give him such a hard time if he didn’t.
Kerr: And I just wanted some wine.
Popovich: That’s my life motto. Well Riis is my life’s motto, but that’s my motto after a tough loss.
Popovich: Maybe we just get Marc and call it a day?
Kerr: Bless you, Old Man.
Popovich: Shut up, Steve.
We think it’ll be awhile before Kerr falls victim to Pop’s gamesmanship again.
But the Spurs’ coach sure is a charmer behind closed doors, and his exclusive Rock & Hammer pinot noir is the stuff of wine tasting legend. Maybe knowing that San Antonio is coming after Golden State’s heartbeat this summer will make dealing with competing offers for Green easier, too.
Either way, one thing is certainly for sure: Popovich puts the prospect of winning above all else – even a shared glass of wine with an esteemed pupil like Kerr.