Gregg Popovich explains why he’s coaching Team USA
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has a highly-decorated career under his belt, and is without question, considered to be one of the best shot-callers in the history of the sport. This is exactly why some people could not help but ask why the 70-year-old decided to take the reigns of Team USA, despite the fact that he has nothing more to prove.
Speaking to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, coach Pop explained why this stint with the national side is more than just a coaching job for him. The five-time NBA champion coach admitted that while he had his doubts initially, he felt like it was his duty as an American to take on the challenge the moment he was called upon.
“I thought about it,” he said. “I met with Mr. [Jerry] Colangelo [Team USA’s managing director]. I took a little bit of time. We talked several times. I knew what I was getting into. It’s your country. You say yes. You man up and try to surround yourself with as much brainpower as you can.”
In true Popovich fashion, though, the veteran coach went on to say that regardless of the challenges he might face in Team USA’s upcoming FIBA World Cup tournament, he simply could care less with what people might have to say.
“I’ve never been too concerned with what people might say. I’ve never read an article on any of our five championships yet. What good does that do?” Popovich said. “Whether it’s applause or someone saying I’m an idiot or whatever, I could care less. They’re both fake notions to me. There are more important things, like what kind of wine to order for dinner.”
There’s the Pop we’ve grown to love over the years, and much like a good bottle of wine, it does appear that he is definitely getting better with age.