Gregg Popovich’s message to Lonnie Walker IV ahead of surgery
The San Antonio Spurs were dealt a tough blow when news broke that their 18th overall pick Lonnie Walker IV would miss six to eight weeks with a torn meniscus. Legendary head coach Gregg Popovich, who is known not to waste words and get straight to the point, had a simple but effective advice for Walker after receiving the news.
Tom Osborn of mysanantonio.com reported that when prompted for encouraging words for Walker, Pop simply said:
“Things happen. Do that rehab.”
Gregg Popovich is known for brushing aside courtside reporters with monosyllabic answers, but in reality, this is probably the best thing that the Spurs youngster could hear. His coach has seen countless injuries to great players, and settling down and focusing on coming back better than before is the only goal for these guys.
Lonnie Walker IV is coming off a solid freshmen season with Miami, where he posted averages of 11.5 points and a steal per game while shooting 42 percent from the field.
Hopes are very high for him within the Spurs organization, and after a decent summer league showing, many expected him to crack the Spurs’ backcourt rotation behind newly-acquired star DeMar DeRozan and a rapidly-improving Dejounte Murray.
The Spurs have a history of producing gems from picks outside of the lottery, and Walker looks like he could continue that trend.
The injury is certainly a setback, but there is no doubt Walker will come back with a chip on his shoulder and determined to prove he can help push the Spurs to the playoffs.