Spurs Mailbag: Coach Pop Answers Your Questions (November 2010)
Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich answers your questions during the 2010-11 season's first edition (November 2010) of Coach Pop's Mailbag.
Location: New Braunfels
Question: Are you superstitious in anyway? If so, how?
Gregg Popovich: Absolutely not, in no way whatsoever. It's a waste of time.
Location: San Antonio
Question: What are your top 5 movies of all time?
GP: Deer Hunter… Wow, I was just thinking about this the other day. But Deer Hunter is up there. The Godfather, Rambo: First Blood, Planet of the Apes - the original one, the first one. My wife always gets on me because I always watch it. And I'll say Big Night; it's an independent film with Stanley Tucci. It's about dinner and it's a very good movie.
Location: New York
Question: How is Tiago handling the Spurs system so far? Has missing the preseason affected his adjustment to the NBA game?
GP: Missing preseason is a huge thing for a lot of reasons and fortunately he has been a professional for a while and has caught on rather quickly with what we've given him since he's been healthy. As the year goes he'll get more and more minutes because of it.
Location: San Antonio
Question: Can you please give us some insight into the decision to waive Temple? I think this was a shock to a lot of spurs fans especially after his performance last year.
GP: He performed last year better than he did this preseason and season for some reason. We thought we needed to move on with other people. He is still the same great kid, he worked his fanny off but it just didn't produce for him and we felt it was better for us to give him an opportunity to hook up with somebody else instead of sitting there and not playing. Because somebody like Garrett needs to play to continue to improve. Hopefully he'll get picked up by someone and down the road he'll be a good player, he's just not ready quite yet.
Location: State College, PA
Question: What keeps you motivated to coach a team for so long?
GP: Probably those of us who coach, it's in our blood. We've been doing it a long time. It's a comfort to be able to participate in a competitive activity and the older you get the more you cherish that competitiveness because it really is a thrill. The competitiveness of the sport and the character of the guys we have make it a lot of fun to come out every day and work with them and watch them develop and improve.
Question: What do you see and hope to get out of new addition Chris Quinn? What is his role on a very talented roster?
GP: Well he is an insurance policy basically. He gives us a different look because he is a three-point shooter at the point position and if we did have an injury or situation in a game where he could come in to give us a different look. He's a very good shooter and he can run a club, he has good NBA experience and he is a good professional. His experience is nice to have.
Question: Who is your favorite coach to coach against?
GP: I don't even know if I can even answer that. I don't really think about who I'm coaching against very much. I mostly think about what our team has to do on a consistent basis every night and think about who we are playing but it never gets to who the coach is to any great degree.
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Question: Are you ever going to bring back the beard?
GP: Probably not, probably not. When your wife votes against it, it's tough to bring it back.
Location: San Antonio
Question: With Fabricio Oberto now retired, what is one of your favorite memories about him as a Spur?
GP: It was the standing ovation that he got when he came back to visit a week or so ago. We introduced him to the fans and they gave him a rip-roaring standing ovation which really touched him and showed what a really special guy he is.
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Question: Can you tell us how coach Larry Brown and Don Nelson (who have completely different styles) have influenced you in your coaching career?
GP: Wow, I can't answer that one very quickly, but be sure that in a pure basketball sense Coach Brown was great because he is a great teacher and really played the game in a certain way, a very fundamental, sound way. Coach Nelson taught me about the NBA and the rules and what worked and didn't work. He really gave me a good base for adjusting to different teams and NBA situations because he had so much experience in that.
Hector Uribe III
Question: With a list of former Spurs players (Avery Johnson, George Karl, Monty Williams, Mike D'Antoni, Doc Rivers, and Vinny Del Negro) all currently coaching in the NBA, which current Spurs player could you possibly see one day becoming a head coach in the future?
GP: We have a couple of people who have the knowledge of the game to do it. People like Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan but they are smart enough not to do it.
Location: Spanish Fork, Utah
Question: Coach Pop, in your opinion, what are some of the most important characteristics one ought to possess in order to be a successful NBA coach?
GP: Good fortune, good players and a great owner.
Location: San Antonio
Question: Out of all the players you've coached, who is the best shooter to ever play for the Spurs?
GP: I'll say Matt Bonner.
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Question: Dear Coach Pop, you mentioned previously that you were reading Orhan Pamuk's 'My Name Is Red'. Did you enjoy it, and do you have any other book recommendations?
GP: I really enjoyed it. Orhan Pamuk is a great Turkish writer and has become internationally known since he has won prizes for his literature. Right now I'm reading a book by Christopher Hitchens and its title is "God Is Not Great," it's his point of view on things. I'm reading that just to look at the other side of the coin so to speak.
Question: Pop, if you're having steak, bbq chicken or crawfish, can you please recommend the best wine for post game celebration?
GP: It would have to be a Syrah or a Zinfandel.
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
Question: Pop, noticing how the season is going so far, is it normal for the offense to seem to be ahead of the defense at this point or is this by design?
GP: You know, that is actually backwards for me. Usually our defense is ahead of our offense. This year it's the exact opposite so it's a point of discussions during our meetings on a daily basis. That's a pretty incisive point you've made there.