San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is regularly thought of as the best coach in professional basketball, ranking with the game's all-time greats including Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley. There's a lot more to Popovich's game than analyzing talent and laying out the X's and O's when designing game strategy.
Spurs big man Zach Collins explained that Popovich, who has coached the Spurs to five NBA championships, will often give his team some world or current event to think about prior to taking the floor for a shoot-around, practice or even a game.
Collins spoke with The Hoop Chat host Emily Austin and provided his insight into what makes “Coach Pop” special.
“He thinks it's important for us to know what's going on in the world,” Collins told Austin. “He'll throw a news clip on the screen. It will catch everybody off guard a little bit, but I think that's part of his philosophy. He wants us to be up to date on what's going on, but it also puts basketball, missing shots and losing games into perspective by comparing it to what's going on in the real world.”
Zach Collins was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft by the Sacramento Kings. He was traded on draft night to the Portland Trail Blazers and spent 3 seasons with that team. After missing the 2020-21 season due to an ankle injury, he has been with the Spurs for the last two years.
The 6-10 big man averaged a career-best 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds last season while connecting on 51.8 percent of his shots from the floor.