Sports

Gregg Popovich Transforms Into Literal Ray of Sunshine, Illuminates Press Conference With Earnest Cheer

“What do you want? I’m so tired of this,” beamed the Spurs head coach.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs looks on against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on March 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Pop is thrilled.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is famously irascible, and his testy interviews have long been appointment viewing. Time has softened him, however, and in recent years it has become evident that he’s in on the joke. This has been a sad development for Grumpy Pop die-hards, but, on Saturday, he showed that he is still capable of being a sarcastic malcontent. His team just has to play crappy enough.

The Warriors gave the Spurs an atomic wedgie in Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup. San Antonio lost 113-92, but the score doesn’t reveal the brazenness with which Golden State took the Spurs’ lunch money. Popovich had a front-row seat for it all, and his post-game press conference revealed the coach’s mood.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes tweeted out the most Pop-y section of the transcript, and the staccato churlishness reads like dialogue from a Harold Pinter play.

That’s a man who is ready for at least three more games of hot NBA Playoff action.

One more thing

You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.

Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.

Join Slate Plus

Nick Greene is a Slate contributing writer.