NancyLieberman, SportsBlog.com Presents: Legends Corner- Featuring continuous and compelling blogs written by NBA veterans, Legends Corner is the content hub for some of basketball's most legendary players. on
Spoelstra has won three Championships in six years. Pat
Riley, his mentor, did this too by the way.
And Popovich is absolutely brilliant. He's got a bad rap,
but he really is a great guy. He's an Air Force guy; so disciplined, so loyal,
and so amazingly positive with his players. He has such an incredible handle on
how he treats his men. It shows you the respect in that locker room.
I'm a fan of system basketball. If Tony goes out, they can
still win. If the starters aren't playing well, Popovich can yank them and
still win. He builds the confidence of the other guys and the veterans don't
get mad because they know they didn't play at the level they are supposed to.
There's a lot of ownership in what the Spurs do...and that's from Coach Pop.
People don't always realize that he was initially hired as
the GM of the Spurs when Bob Hill was coaching. And he had a great rapport with
R.C. Buford. Why is this guy so good at what he does? He's been on every end of
Look at all of the players coming through the Spurs that
were interchangeable pieces. Coach has kept the team on a winning level because
he finds guys that can play in his system.
He really is a great guy; he just hates doing those
interviews at the end of the first and third quarter. He just doesn't feel
comfortable with it. Can you imagine being in a boardroom at Berkshire Hathaway
and at the most important point in the meeting, a reporter comes and starts
asking Warren Buffett questions?
It's the same thing for NBA coaches. In the middle of your
meeting on the court, you have to stop and tell the reporters what you think. I
know the viewers want the all-access, but as a coach I can tell you, no coaches
like it. I'm sure that Popovich is just trying to get through it.