Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Trail Blazers

Jan. 17, 2014

(On whether Damian Lillard is an All-Star…)
“I don’t pick the All-Star team. I know he’s one heck of a player. For being so young, what really impresses me is the demeanor that he has, the pace he has, and the decision making that he exudes out there. He’s really a special kid and he’s had a great year.”

(On whether coaches vote on All-Stars from winning teams…)
“We look at people who we think deserve it. We don’t do it so that our guys will make it. We don’t send out kits, do plays, and make videos to send to other people to vote for our guys or anything like that. We try to vote for the guys that we think really deserve it. It’s something that’s important for us to do.”

(On whether Tony Parker is an All-Star…)
“I think he’s in the mix with all of the other guys who have played well. His stats aren’t going to be as good as some other people, but there have been about eleven or twelve games where he hasn’t played in the fourth quarter. So he’s going to have fewer minutes than everyone else, which means fewer field goal attempts and fewer opportunities to have assists and that kind of thing. He’s led us to where we are now and he’s having a very good year, so I would hope that he would be under consideration. Just like Damian Lillard would.”

(On whether Tim Duncan is an All-Star…)
“I think it’s the same situation. He hasn’t played in about ten or eleven fourth quarters. It’s just not stats. It’s how important guys are to their teams plus what their teams look like and what kind of year they’re having. Plus it’s not just who scores the most points. That’s not the whole deal.”

(On Tony Parker’s career low minutes per game this season…)
“It just happened that way. Like I said, so far he’s sat in a lot of fourth quarters and I think that’s the reason why his minutes are low the way they are. It’s kind of frustrating for them. Sometimes you worry about conditioning, rhythm, and that sort of thing, but I’m always paranoid about being healthy in the end. We’ll bring them out when we think is appropriate.”

(On watching the minutes of the Spurs’ older players…)
“Sure Tim (Duncan) played more when he was in his 20’s. That has a lot to do with it. We started that a while back. It’s a special situation, not just because Timmy is older, but Manu (Ginobili) has got a lot of miles on him. I mentioned to the ESPN crew last game that I’m willing to bet he’s got more miles on him than Kobe (Bryant). Kobe started playing when he was about 18, but Manu’s been doing it since he was 15 or 16. And then on the foreign teams he played on, he played all summer long and a lot of those teams even during tournaments they practiced twice a day and practiced the day of games. He did that every single year until this last summer. He’s somebody we’ve watched because of that pretty closely.”