Gregg Popovich simply might have led his crew down a path and tanked in the course of the second half of the season.
It’s not onerous to argue that it will have been useful for him and the San Antonio Spurs in the long term to have carried out so, too.
Yet on Sunday evening, forward of their ultimate recreation of the common season, Popovich mentioned that was merely by no means an possibility for him.
“Part of it is, it’s just not who we are. It’s not who I am,” Popovich mentioned, by way of Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News. “I can’t operate like that. Which might not be the most intelligent overall philosophy to have, and I get that. But we am who we am. We’re going to go ahead and compete.”
After a tricky begin to the season, the Spurs rallied and secured the ultimate spot within the postseason play-in event earlier this month. That, paired with the Lakers’ late-season struggles, acquired Popovich again within the play-in for the second straight 12 months. They’ve gone 7-3 of their final 10 video games, too, and can tackle the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday evening.
That run, with a really younger roster that doesn’t have a real star like most of Popovich’s earlier groups, is undoubtedly spectacular. Getting them to that time, although, was the one factor he was prepared to do.
“I think the young players gain a real understanding of a philosophically moral space where it’s the right thing to do, to continue to compete,” Popovich mentioned. “Frankly, I don’t know how I would go to my team and say, ‘OK guys, we’re not going to compete the way we should,’ or how you’d get that across, or with a wink and a nod. I think you do the players a disservice if they’re not able to go out and perform at the best of their ability.
“I think the lessons to be learned are very important as their careers advance. You hope that in the long run, that value they gain from that will help them compete at an even higher level later. I understand the opposite, I just can’t do it.”
While Popovich’s mindset is a noble one, it’s not one which’s essentially common throughout the remainder of the league.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been attempting to curb taking or the strategic resting of star gamers for years. He spoke about it earlier this month, too, and truly credited the play-in event as one of many issues to assist cease groups from tanking with a purpose to get a lottery decide within the draft.
Though Popovich probably has loads of concepts that would assist form the way forward for the league, he’s retaining them to himself for now. Silver, he mentioned, has issues beneath management.
“Adam and his staff are pretty smart people,” Popovich mentioned, by way of ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “If there was a silver bullet in that regard, they would have already shot it.”