Doris Burke tells amazing story that captures the essence of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich can sometimes be a very mysterious man. Aside from his legendary status as one of the greatest coaches in league history, Pop is also known for giving reporters a tough time whenever they get a chance to interview him — something that veteran reporter Doris Burke can relate to.
Burke has been involved with the NBA for a long time, and through the years she has built a unique personal relationship with the Gregg Popovich. Burke recently shared an unforgettable encounter between herself and Pop that sticks with her to this very day:
“I adore Gregg,” said Burke, via Steve Serby of the New York Post. “Listen, I don’t like those [courtside] interviews more than anybody else, but I tell a story about Pop that will capture him. He loses Game 7 [of the 2013 NBA Finals]. I’m walking out of Miami Arena, and he’s gonna cross paths with me. I don’t even want to make eye contact with him. I put my head down and I step back and allow him to pass.”
Just as Burke thought this was going to be an extremely awkward situation, the Spurs legend shocked her with his next statement:
“And he grabs my shoulders and he turns me to him and he says, ‘Now what are you gonna do with your offseason?’ I’m stunned, and I said, “I’m actually gonna make a trip to Napa,’” Burke narrated. “He goes, ‘Doris, here’s my secretary’s email. You send her a note, tell her what you’re doing.’ He sent me an email back with a list of places I should go. That captures Gregg Popovich more than those absolutely (chuckle) painful moments for the reporters on the sideline.”
This anecdote perfectly illustrates what kind of guy Popovich is. He exudes a no-nonsense and almost arrogant aura — especially during games — which is more than enough to intimidate even the most experienced of reporters. However, it is clear that deep down, he’s a great human being. Once he puts basketball aside, Popovich becomes a lovable character everyone seems to endear.