It happened years ago, but I still remember it as if it was yesterday!
It was the 2003 NBA Finals and the San Antonio Spurs were playing the New Jersey Nets.
Jason Kidd’s agent, with his client’s blessing, of course, planted the following story right in the middle of the NBA Finals;
“…Jason Kidd, would be signing with the Spurs as a free-agent, next season!”
Needless to say, the Media ran wild with the rumor. At some point during all of the turmoil, Gregg Popovich pulled his young point guard, Tony Parker, aside and said;
“…Son, no matter what anybody says…you’re my guy!”.
And Tony Parker has been playing his heart out for the man every San Antonio Spur calls Pops ever since…and Jason Kidd?
Well…let’s just say that Kidd never saw the inside of the Spurs’ locker room during his entire career.
There is a reason why the thought of leaving the San Antonio Spurs never crossed the minds of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker, they knew Popovich had their backs.
Pops will take on the Media, the Fans and subject himself to fines by the NBA if necessary, in order to protect his players.
NBA players have always been envious of that kind eccentric loyalty by Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs’ organization willingness to Take One for the Team.
Gregg Popovich is a tremendous tactician whom consistently gets the absolute maximum from his players. The San Antonio Spurs are an NBA dynasty and there seems to be no end in sight.
Long before father time started to catch up up with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, Pops anticipated their retirements. I can just picture the sticky note on his desk;
“…Note To Self!…Need Develop My Bench!”
Now the Spurs are a dynamic team which can play up tempo or kills you slowly in a half court game.
And just for good measure, if they need to, the Spurs will send you packing for the summer right in front of your home fans. There is not such thing as Home Court Advantage when you play against them.
Just ask the Los Angeles Lakers how life been treating them ever since the Spurs blew their doors off right in front of their fans the last time they were in the playoffs!
As another playoff campaign begins, the Spurs look prime to win the Western Conference once again.
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