Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Question: What is your favorite thing a reporter has ever asked you?
Gregg Popovich: (Chuckles) I’m just going to assume that I’ve never had a favorite. I’ve had some real wing-dingers that they’ve asked me but I can’t say they’re favorites.
Question: Do you golf? What's your handicap?
GP: I think the last time I golfed was about 10 or 12 years ago, honestly. I really love being near a golf course, they’re beautiful, and I’ve been at events at golf courses, but I haven’t stepped out and hit a ball in over 10 years. It takes too much time. I’ve got other things I’d rather do.
Question: Hi Pop, what do you think Patty Mills brings to the Spurs this season after seeing his Olympic performance?
GP: Well, I didn’t need to see his Olympic performance to know what he can bring, it’s just that he came to us so late last year it was really hard to incorporate him into what we were doing. But he’s an aggressive, fiery, offensive player. He can shoot the three and really score, and that’s what he looks to do when he comes in the game. So he’ll be a game-changer in that sense, at the offensive end. And defensively he’s kind of like a pest—he’s not very big but he’s really a gamer. He’s got great courage and he gets into people, trying to really bother them and get them off their game. So his competitiveness and offensive skills are what we’re looking forward to mostly.
Location: Houston, TX
Question: Where is your favorite vacation destination?
GP: Well I went up to Montana, up into the mountains fishing this year with some friends, and I had never been to Montana to do that before so that was a new thing. Other than that I didn’t do anything that was exciting or of note.
Stephen GonzalezLocation: San Antonio
Question: Seeing as how well the offense came together last season, is defense a bigger priority throughout training camp?
GP: You know it’s always a priority with us, but you know we’re never going to reach the level that we were at five, six years ago defensively. It’s just impossible to do that for a variety of reasons. But it still has to be an emphasis, we can get better and we have to if we want to compete with these guys that, as you said, added so many players to their team.
Location: Los Angeles
Question: Who are some of your favorite musical artists, and any amazing live shows you've seen come to mind?
GP: The last live show I’ve seen was Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. And they’re still one of my favorites, you know the old stand-bys. I was a big Motown guy for a long time, being from that part of the country, and that sort of morphed into Jimmy Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Led Zepplin, those kind of guys. And being here in Texas you can’t help but hear country music here and there. Everybody takes a different path in life and about three years ago I started listening to a Patsy Cline album and it just blew me away. I just am still amazed by her voice, and the guys and my family say “jeez, are we going to listen to that again?” So that’s the newest one, and another one: Terri Clark. Somebody gave me a CD by her, a country gal, and I love it. It’s really great. So I listen to that, and everything else is sort of foreign. It’s Egyptian, Usef, he’s an Egyptian guy, or Turkish music. That kind of thing. So pretty strange, a lot of different things.
What about any of Stephen Jackson’s?
Jack used to try to give me some of his tapes, but, first of all I couldn’t even understand what was going on, and some of them you could even dance to, but once I started hearing what they were saying and everything I just gave them back.
Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Question: What kind of season do you see Kawhi Leonard having next season? Also, where do you see him in five years?
GP: I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.
Location: San Antonio
Question: With all these teams trying to stack their rosters over the summer, Lakers and Heat come to mind, how do you prepare yourself and the team for this coming season?
GP: What other teams do is not in our control, so we'll worry about, as I said, incorporating Kawhi into the program more since he wasn’t here very long. Boris, Patty Mills, look for improvement in Danny Green, work our big guys. Tiago and DeJuan Blair I think are going to have very good seasons for us. So we’ll concentrate on that and what we need to do as a group, and we’ll see how we stack up.