'Go to some bars and do some stuff': Pop says Spurs need street cred
SAN ANTONIO - The Spurs are a boring team, Gregg Popovich acknowledges - though their fiery coach said it's nothing a few bar fights couldn't fix.
Popovich made the joke in light of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin breaking a bone in his right hand during a fight at a Toronto restaurant on Saturday. Griffin will be out for four to six weeks after twice punching Clippers assistant manager Matias Testi following a disagreement between the longtime friends.
The Spurs have never made headlines for boorish off-the-court behavior under Popovich, who is in his 19th season as San Antonio's coach. With calm personalities like David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard leading the team, the Spurs are known as much for their boring demeanors as their efficient play.
It's an image Popovich is fighting to change.
''I'm a little tired of that,'' Popovich said, a wry smile emerging. ''I'm looking for some people who are going to start asking people to go to some bars and do some stuff. I think a little 'street cred' would help us. We are a little boring, so I agree with them all. It's true.''
The best way to combat that image is with some conflict.
''A little fight here and there, you know, why not,'' Popovich said before San Antonio's home game against the Houston Rockets.
The Spurs entered Wednesday having won 24 straight home games to open the season.
San Antonio will need to show some fight after a 120-90 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday. San Antonio's biggest loss since 2013 will be tough for the veteran team to bounce back from, Popovich said, again tongue in cheek.
''It was really tough,'' Popovich said. ''I had to go to everybody's house. I spent time, slept overnight at about four or five players' houses to try to get them straight.''
- From Miami to Mount Everest, Heat culture is real
- Silver: NBA to announce ruling on Ja after Finals
- Nurse ready for new 76ers era: 'I don't vibrate on the frequency of the past'
- Stevens: Mazzulla returning as coach, Brown 'big part' of Celtics
- Report: Pistons hiring Williams as head coach on 6-year, $78.5M deal