One-on-One with Paul Pressey

Paul Pressey
Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty

Throughout the season spurs.com will celebrate the Spurs 40th Anniversary by visiting with former players, coaches and front office staff to discuss their experiences with the organization and the city of San Antonio.
Archive: Sam Presti | Dennis Lindsey | Ian Mahinmi |
Kurt Thomas | Marc Iavaroni | Anthony Goldwire |
Stanley Blend | Joel Meyers | Frank Layden | Mario Elie | Malik Rose | Chuck Person | Roger Mason, Jr. |
Lance Blanks | Brian Winters | Alex English | Tim Kempton |
Ron Adams



Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Paul Pressey played with the Spurs for two seasons from 1990-92. Pressey was also an assistant coach for San Antonio from 1994-2000 and was a member of the coaching staff which helped the Silver and Black win their first NBA Championship in 1999. The 11-year NBA career veteran appeared 126 games with San Antonio averaging 5.4 points and 2.2 rebounds. Pressey took some time before Cleveland’s matchup against the Spurs on March 16 to speak with spurs.com.

On his time with as a member of the Spurs team:
“As a player it was a great experience, I got traded here. I got a chance to come here and play with some great players like David Robinson, Sean Elliott, and Willie Anderson and of course Larry Brown, who is a Hall-of-Fame coach. I got a chance to play for him and I got a chance to play with my old teammate, Terry Cummings. I got a chance to play with some fantastic guys and coach who knew the game and knew how it should be played. We tried to meet that standard.”

On his time with the Spurs as a coach:
“My first experience as a player with coach Gregg Popovich was when he was under Larry Brown. A couple years after that, Don Nelson called me about Popovich, who as out of a job at the time and wanted to know what I thought of him. I said, ‘He’s the best, a fantastic guy. He’s got a military background. He’s very accurate and is very smart man.’ A week later he (Nelson) hires him. A week later he (Nelson) calls me and asked if I wanted to coach at Golden State. That’s how Pop and I coached under Nelson together. Pop got the general manager job here in San Antonio and brought me on as an assistant. The rest is history.”

On winning the 1999 NBA Championship with San Antonio:
“It was great, there’s nothing like it. Everybody gets into this game for that, whether it’s a player or a coach. Whether you’re on a staff or on some administration, it doesn’t matter. When you get a chance to experience that (winning a championship), it is a whole different world. We had a new guy then named Tim Duncan, who I thought really made our team a different kind of team. It was the right place at the right time. Even though it was a shorten season, everyone had to play the same amount of games. It was an experience that I’ll never forget. “

On living in San Antonio during his NBA career and returning during the season:
“I love San Antonio. It’s a great city to raise a family. I had four kids and I basically raised them all here for eight years. It’s a really a city that has grown since I left. It’s a city where the community is involved in all their sports. Everyone is involved in the community and is trying to make the city better. When you have that kind of a city, it can only get better.”

On San Antonio’s arena during his career:
“Well, one was an open atmosphere. The dome was like a football arena; basically it’s what it was. We made the best of it. The HemisFair felt like a basketball arena. The fans were on top of you. They were backing you and they had excitement. The team has grown since then as far as the talent and the ability of putting championships in the rafters. Now in this new building, it’s even better. It’s all about progress.”

On going out to eat in San Antonio:
“We didn’t have much then like you do now. You got pretty good ones now. Funny thing is, we had discount cards to Dick’s Last Resort. So we ate there a lot. Then Sean (Elliot) was the local spokesperson for Taco Cabana, so we had complete discounts there. We had Taco Cabana a lot and had breakfast there. It was a really good food then.”