Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. Bulls

Jan. 29, 2014

(On why so many top players sustain injuries in recent years…)
“It’s no fun for the teams and no fun for the fans. A lot of good players are out like that. I don’t know why. It’s not just this year. In the last couple of years, it’s more than I can remember in the past, but I’ve never heard any good reason given.”

(On the possibility of Joakim Noah not playing…)
“It’s a good player who’s playing or not playing. You know what he does. He’s a heck of a rebounder, a heck of a competitor. He plays defense, and it takes away something they would like to have.”

(On what he likes about Marco Belinelli…)
“I thought he did well in Chicago. I watched him play there and I thought he got involved in a lot of different ways like pick and rolls and obviously he’s a good shooter. I think he’s a really fine all-around player. He’s a very good passer, great teammate, and I think he plays to win. He’s got no fear at all. I think he’s been a very good addition for us.”

(On whether he watched Marco Belinelli early in his career…)
“When he was first with Golden State in the beginning, I liked the way he played. I thought he was a little wild maybe. As time has gone on, he’s picked and chosen his shots a little bit better. He’s shooting the ball well for us. He’s done a good job of making decisions in that regard. He’s a really good passer and he plays the game to win.”

(On how the Bulls have remained successful despite losing key players…)
“Three reasons, probably. It would be the same with other teams I think, if they have these three characteristics. One is that Thibs (Tom Thibodeau) does a great job. He’s going to make the same demands, keep the same standard, be relentless, and try to get better and better at every aspect of the game. Secondly, he’s got a group that has character and they care. They’re going to keep giving it to him. Thirdly, as a group they play outstanding defense. That keeps you in games on nights when maybe you can’t put it in the hole, and they’re really good night after night consistently in the defensive sets.”

(On the coaching technique to foul poor free throw shooters…)
“I hate it. I think it’s awful. I hate doing it. Seriously, it’s a pain in the neck, fans don’t like it, I don’t like it, nobody likes it. It disrupts the flow of the game. If there’s an equitable way to get rid of it, I’m all for it. It’s part of the game, part of the rules now, and if you think somebody can’t shoot a free throw, then you might as well take advantage of it. If you think somebody can’t shoot, then you don’t guard them the same way. It’s fair, but it’s just kind of ugly I think.”

(On Tim Duncan getting All Star consideration despite his numbers being lower…)
“It depends what you mean by performance. If you mean numbers, numbers don’t tell the whole tale. He’s played well enough to keep us at a pretty high level this year, compared to everybody else. I think that means a lot, which is why I would love for him to get some consideration. I think that’s important in how well a team is doing.”