Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

Four-time NBA champion head coach Gregg Popovich talked to media about an hour before Wednesday night’s tipoff against the Clippers at Staples Center. As part of the 10-minute session, Popovich talked about the Clippers as well as head coach Vinny Del Negro, who played for the legendary coach in San Antonio from 1996-1998.

On the outlook for the Clippers:  

Gregg Popovich: “The Clippers haven’t been together very long. It’s not like been together for five years, knowing each other, everything golden and smooth. It takes time for a team to get to know each other. They made a huge leap last year, became a very good basketball team, and they’re going to be even better this year. The bench is different. Roles will be established, and as the season goes on, they’re going to be even better than they were last year. The question is how good, how much better.”

Asked about Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin potentially trying to emulate Spurs great Tim Duncan’s game, Popovich answered:

GP: “I don’t know what part of the game Blake’s talking about, but if he’s talking about being a professional and being a great leader and great teammate and bringing it night after night after night year after year after year then he’s picked a great model.”

On coaching Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro as a player with the Spurs:

GP: “He always had suggestions, always wanted to talked about basketball, watched film. He was one of the best pick and roll players. He couldn’t play a lick of defense, but he was a great pull-up shooter on the break. If you threw it ahead to him 15 feet, he’d pull-up and put it in the hole every time. He was a great teammate, and came to play every night.”