Coach Pop Pregame Media Availability - Spurs vs. 76ers

March 24, 2014

(On Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown…)
“He’s one of my best friends. He’s someone that I respect immensely, somebody that I care about, somebody who is really talented and tough as nails. He’s been a friend for a long time. I think he’s as tough minded as the environment that exists there in Philly. He’s a very focused individual with great competitiveness and unbelievable fiber. He keeps his eye on what’s important. He’ll always be participatory and creative but at the same time very consistent in his demands and know what wins and loses. He can stick with a program and is loyal as the day is long. He’s a winner in life in a whole lot of ways.”

(On coaching against former assistant coaches…)
“It’s never any fun doing that. Win or lose, it’s never fun either way. The wins aren’t as much fun, and the losses are bad because they’re losses. You want to enjoy your wins, but it’s harder when it’s with somebody like that.”

(On things the Spurs have done well during the win streak…)
“I think we’ve moved the ball really well. We shared and moved it very well. We’ve gotten a lot of uncontested shots because of the ball movement. That’s been good. Defensively, we’ve done a better job on the boards. We’ve still got a ways to go defensively, but we have a few more games to try to improve.”

(On Kawhi Leonard’s improvement during the streak…)
“He’s getting steady minutes. He’s been in and out with injury and that kind of thing, so his minutes are steady and he’s a quick learner. His learning curve is phenomenal. He’s getting more comfortable and confident in every game. His teammates are getting more comfortable with him in letting him work situations where he would defer in the past. He’s gotten more opportunities.”

(On Kawhi Leonard’s measuring stick this season…)
“When you’re a young player, everything’s a measure. Basically it’s about deciding what you want to be great at, and in his case, he’s got an opportunity to be great in both ends of the court. That’s what he’s working toward. He knows the game starts with defense, boards, and running the court. He’s starting to feel comfortable with what a good shot is and what’s not. When is the time to go one-on-one, when is the time to get rid of it, what’s the score, what’s the situation. All of those things have to be learned. You see players make decisions all the time that are sometimes wise and sometimes unwise, and he’s going through that process now and doing very well.”