Pop laments rise of the 3-pointer: 'I hate it, but I always have'
Gary Dineen / National Basketball Association / Getty

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs have always been credited for their ability to adapt, but that doesn't mean the longtime coach has to like where the NBA game is going.

And in an evolving, pace-and-space era that prioritizes switchable, 3-and-D play over traditional interior big men, Popovich sounds like a man who pines for the old days.

"The inside game is kaputski," Popovich told NBA.com's Sam Smith. "You've got to have downhill players, you've got to have people that can penetrate and kick, you've got to have people who can switch, you've got to have big guys who can play little guys."

Then, he turned his wrath on the 3-point shot.

"These days there's such an emphasis on the three because it's proven to be analytically correct," Popovich added. "Now you look at a stat sheet after a game and the first thing you look at is the threes. If you made threes and the other team didn't, you win ... I hate it, but I always have. I've hated the three for 20 years."

Part of the problem for the Spurs this season may be the lack of players who excel in this area. While San Antonio has the fourth-best 3-point percentage in the NBA through 21 games, they've taken the second-fewest attempts per game. The Spurs' leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan, is connecting on under 20 percent of his shots beyond the arc.

The roster's overall spacing concerns are one of the reasons the Spurs are at risk of missing the playoffs this season for the first time since 1997, but Popovich remained sardonic in his enmity for the trey.

"That’s why I make a joke all the time ... if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a four-point play," he said. "Because if everybody likes the three, they'll really like the four. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There's no basketball anymore, there's no beauty in it. It's pretty boring."

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Pop laments rise of the 3-pointer: 'I hate it, but I always have'
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