Gregg Popovich remains a legend. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

Gregg Popovich remains a legend. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

WATCH: Gregg Popovich’s pregame comedy routine blasts Trump

OAKLAND — There’s no one in pro sports quite like San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.

He graduated from the Air Force Academy, has won five NBA titles and has enjoyed the kind of success that allows him to let his personality really shine.

When he comes to the Bay Area, he really lets it rip.

That brings us to his pregame media availability for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

It had a little bit of everything.

Popovich started with some self deprecation and reporter mocking: 

“Last time I checked Tony [Parker] is still hurt, so [Patty] Mills is going to start. You’re a genius.”

The Spurs coach moved on to compare Game 6 of their series against the Houston Rockets to the current administration:

He even included some patented denying what he just said, a’la Donald Trump.

Then, it was time for some blatant misdirection — telling reporters the Spurs were going to play zone defense against the Warriors. It didn’t fool anyone. And if it did, his look at the end gave it all away.

When asked to explain why Mills has been so effective in Parker’s extended absence, Popovich played the long game, saying, “I don’t want to talk too much about Patty Mills because the more good things I say, the more we’ll have to pay him.”

To finish his session, he dropped the hammer, launching into a monologue that will most likely elicit an early morning response from the leader of the free world:

Transcript of Popovich’s remarks about Trump:

“To this day, I feel like there’s a cloud, a pall, over the whole country in a paranoid, surreal sort of way. It’s got nothing to do with the Democrats losing the election. It’s got to do with the way one individual conducts himself and that’s embarassing, it’s dangerous to our instituions and what we all stand for and what we expect the country to be. But for this individual he’s in a game show. And everything that happens begins and ends with him – not our people or our country. Every time he talks about those things that’s just a ruse – that’s just disingenuous, cynical and fake.”

I said it in October, when Popovich said he tells Steve Kerr to “urinate in a bucket” when his former player reaches out for advice, and I’ll say it now: When it comes to coaching and answering questions, in the NBA, there’s no one better than Pop.

Contact Jacob C. Palmer at or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.

Karl Buscheck contributed to this report.Golden State WarriorsGregg PopovichNBA PlayoffsSan Antonio Spurs

Just Posted

People take part in early voting for the November 5 election at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A student carries a protection shield to her next class as part of her school’s COVID-19 safety measures. (Courtesy Allison Shelley/Eduimages)
Projected K-12 drops in enrollment pose immediate upheaval and decade-long challenge

State forecasts 11.4% fewer students by 2031 — LA and Bay Area to be hit hardest

Most Read