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  1. #1176
    Get Paycheck, Get Drunk HankChinaski's Avatar
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    Pop just isn't the personality you want responding to the media. As for the team itself, I haven't seen any consistency over the last few years between Rio to these games in terms of roster.

    It's just names out their with the majority (not all) with weak ass egos.

    These USA players can't handle concepts or be run like a team???

    I'm calling BS and this can't ALL fall on coaching.

  2. #1177
    BLACK LIVES MATTER Play Boban's Avatar
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    I’m embarrassed to be an American.

  3. #1178
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    Since he pulled his shtick on Vardon and Perkins called it out, followed by (Stephen A.) Smith saying "what's he done since Duncan retired?", it's open season from the media. Windhorst took a bunch of scathing/thinly veiled shots today. The jig is up.

    He's at least got to realize his San Antonio shtick isn't going to work. He's not the all powerful emperor that he is here.



    He continues to kill this franchise. They're already about as undesirable as it gets to the majority of inner city millennials and he just keeps digging the hole deeper.

    Why would he attempt to implement any "system" in a short tournament, with a hastily assembled, diva ridden team? The job is mostly about managing egos, something he's never been able to do.
    Somewhere, you know Doris Burke is loving this. Lots of media who get on by this arrogant bag are loving it too.

  4. #1179
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    This situation and team are very similar to 2004, unfortunately that means that Pop, Durant & Lillard are going to fall on the sword (if they fail to win gold).

    It has been clear as day that this iteration of team USA - and the one Pop coached a few years ago - is not good enough or cohesive enough of a group. COVID, FIBA (with their decision to hold qualifying tournaments during the NBA season) & other factors have doomed Pop's tenure as USA coach.

    They still have time to turn it around but the margins are becoming slimmer and slimmer.

    Sucks that he held on to coaching just to possibly lose in the Olympics. SMDH

  5. #1180
    Starter off the bench Uriel's Avatar
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    Opinion: Time to face facts, NBA coaching legend Gregg Popovich stinks at Olympic basketball
    Dan Wolken
    USA TODAY

    TOKYO – If you want to call Gregg Popovich the greatest coach in NBA history, go right ahead. But let’s be as direct and to the point as Popovich usually is: He stinks at Olympic basketball.

    We’ve seen enough to say that now, haven’t we? What more do we need to know?

    If you want to know where to put the blame for Team USA’s 83-76 loss to France – America’s first Olympic men’s basketball loss in 6,176 days – look no further than the guy with five NBA les who has been clueless from the very moment he was given the reins to USA Basketball.

    Clueless in what he values with this roster. Clueless with an offense that unlocks very little of what his players do well. Clueless with the expectations he took on by following Mike Krzyzewski in this admittedly thankless job.

    And it’s the last point that irks the most.

    As Popovich attempted to slough off this embarrassment like it's a Wednesday night in January at Minnesota and not the Olympics, he sounded no different from every Power Five college football coach who tries to reassure their fan base after losing to a MAC school that, hey, those guys are on scholarship too.

    “When you lose a game you’re not surprised, you’re disappointed,” Popovich said. “I don’t understand the word surprise. That sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we are supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a of a team. They have NBA players, other talented players playing in Europe who’ve been together for a long time. I think it’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win. You have to work for it, and for those 40 minutes they played better than we did.”

    Everyone understands that France has NBA-level players, as do several teams in this tournament. Rudy Gobert is a star. Evan Fournier and Nic Batum are names you know. Nando de Colo played a little bit in the NBA and has been awesome year in and year out in the EuroLeague.

    But it’s not even the slightest bit jingoistic or hubristic to look at that roster, then look at the U.S. roster, and know within a fraction of a second which one you’d pick.

    You know who gets that? The players on the American team. After the game, a couple reporters caught Damian Lillard outside the locker room, and I asked him if it was fair for fans back home to be shocked by what they saw against France.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s unfair,” Lillard said. “I mean, I think that’s just what the expectations are when you play for Team USA. I think we have a history of dominance, maybe not always blowing people out but we have a history of winning. It’s not often that you see Team USA go out there and lose especially to start.

    "I think that’s why a lot of people will make it seem like the end of the world, but our job as professionals and as this team representing our country in these Olympics, we have to do what’s necessary. We can still accomplish what we came here to accomplish, and we have to make sure we keep that in mind.”

    You know why Lillard isn’t afraid to own up to the fact that Team USA is expected to win these games? Because it’s true.

    USA Basketball didn’t win three straight Olympics and dominate every international event in between by accident. It happened because there was great care put into building those rosters and because there was tremendous buy-in from the top American players and because Krzyzewski did enough not to screw it up.

    This idea that the world has caught up to the USA? Pfft. The world has been good for a long time. The French team isn’t locked in a gym in Paris working on sets all year long laying in wait to knock off the Americans. They’re professional players who have to come together in a short window for these tournaments just like our guys do.

    And for the last 17 years, since the debacle in 2004 in Athens that forced USA Basketball to overhaul everything it was doing, the U.S. has been better at that than everyone else. At least until Popovich showed up with a bag full of excuses, saying ridiculous things like it was good that the U.S. lost to Nigeria in an exhibition game or that “those things happen” when you blow an eight-point lead late in the game.

    It’s not supposed to happen to the United States in international compe ion. But it seems to happen more than its fair share under Popovich, who was an assistant under Larry Brown for the 2004 disaster and has overseen a seventh-place finish at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and now a loss at the Olympics after 19 straight wins.

    “Basketball is an international sport,” Popovich said. “There are very good teams all over the world. People shouldn’t be surprised that the French team or Australian team or Lithuanian team – it doesn’t matter who it is – the gap in talent shrinks every year as there are more and more players all over the world, and you need to give the French team credit.”

    You can give the French team credit while also wondering why the U.S. team wasted time at the beginning of this process by picking Kevin Love – a terrible decision that could not be justified by his play over the last couple years – only to see him bail midway through the training camp. You can wonder why the U.S., with a bevy of great young point guards who can run a half-court offense better than the guys they picked, snubbed someone like Trae Young who clearly wanted to be on the team. You can wonder why the spacing is so bad and the ball doesn’t move. You can wonder whether Popovich is too stubborn and too far past his prime to be the right choice to lead this team.

    Ultimately, Team USA can shut everybody up by winning a gold medal, which is still within the realm of possibility. That’s the ultimate scoreboard.

    But as we can see with our own eyes, it won’t be easy. It may not be likely. And it sure won’t be because the alleged greatest coach in basketball history figured something out.

    Popovich has had years to figure out the whole Team USA thing. We’re still waiting for his first good day at the office.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ce/8086604002/
    I completely agree with the author when he says that Pop is past his prime. But this article is so melodramatic

    Team USA will still win the gold. That’ll probably be their only loss of the tournament. People are acting like the world is falling apart

  6. #1181
    Fan Since 93 SayTown's Avatar
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    A decade of Duncan slander can finally stop. Narratives should be that he won so much despite Pop.
    When did anyone ever slander Duncan? Duncan would of won multiples anywhere with any coach, can't say the same for Gregg winning without Duncan. How many could Duncan of won with a great coach? Maybe 10!

  7. #1182
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    Pop should've taken Ayton with him or someone somewhat legit for some easy buckets. Without having some kind of threat inside you can't go far i don't care who you have on the perimeter. I don't trust Bam at all
    Ayton can not play. Not a US citizen.

  8. #1183
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    When did anyone ever slander Duncan? Duncan would of won multiples anywhere with any coach, can't say the same for Gregg winning without Duncan. How many could Duncan of won with a great coach? Maybe 10!
    What coach wins without great players?

  9. #1184
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    Opinion: Time to face facts, NBA coaching legend Gregg Popovich stinks at Olympic basketball
    Dan Wolken
    USA TODAY

    TOKYO – If you want to call Gregg Popovich the greatest coach in NBA history, go right ahead. But let’s be as direct and to the point as Popovich usually is: He stinks at Olympic basketball.

    We’ve seen enough to say that now, haven’t we? What more do we need to know?

    If you want to know where to put the blame for Team USA’s 83-76 loss to France – America’s first Olympic men’s basketball loss in 6,176 days – look no further than the guy with five NBA les who has been clueless from the very moment he was given the reins to USA Basketball.

    Clueless in what he values with this roster. Clueless with an offense that unlocks very little of what his players do well. Clueless with the expectations he took on by following Mike Krzyzewski in this admittedly thankless job.

    And it’s the last point that irks the most.

    As Popovich attempted to slough off this embarrassment like it's a Wednesday night in January at Minnesota and not the Olympics, he sounded no different from every Power Five college football coach who tries to reassure their fan base after losing to a MAC school that, hey, those guys are on scholarship too.

    “When you lose a game you’re not surprised, you’re disappointed,” Popovich said. “I don’t understand the word surprise. That sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we are supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a of a team. They have NBA players, other talented players playing in Europe who’ve been together for a long time. I think it’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win. You have to work for it, and for those 40 minutes they played better than we did.”

    Everyone understands that France has NBA-level players, as do several teams in this tournament. Rudy Gobert is a star. Evan Fournier and Nic Batum are names you know. Nando de Colo played a little bit in the NBA and has been awesome year in and year out in the EuroLeague.

    But it’s not even the slightest bit jingoistic or hubristic to look at that roster, then look at the U.S. roster, and know within a fraction of a second which one you’d pick.

    You know who gets that? The players on the American team. After the game, a couple reporters caught Damian Lillard outside the locker room, and I asked him if it was fair for fans back home to be shocked by what they saw against France.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s unfair,” Lillard said. “I mean, I think that’s just what the expectations are when you play for Team USA. I think we have a history of dominance, maybe not always blowing people out but we have a history of winning. It’s not often that you see Team USA go out there and lose especially to start.

    "I think that’s why a lot of people will make it seem like the end of the world, but our job as professionals and as this team representing our country in these Olympics, we have to do what’s necessary. We can still accomplish what we came here to accomplish, and we have to make sure we keep that in mind.”

    You know why Lillard isn’t afraid to own up to the fact that Team USA is expected to win these games? Because it’s true.

    USA Basketball didn’t win three straight Olympics and dominate every international event in between by accident. It happened because there was great care put into building those rosters and because there was tremendous buy-in from the top American players and because Krzyzewski did enough not to screw it up.

    This idea that the world has caught up to the USA? Pfft. The world has been good for a long time. The French team isn’t locked in a gym in Paris working on sets all year long laying in wait to knock off the Americans. They’re professional players who have to come together in a short window for these tournaments just like our guys do.

    And for the last 17 years, since the debacle in 2004 in Athens that forced USA Basketball to overhaul everything it was doing, the U.S. has been better at that than everyone else. At least until Popovich showed up with a bag full of excuses, saying ridiculous things like it was good that the U.S. lost to Nigeria in an exhibition game or that “those things happen” when you blow an eight-point lead late in the game.

    It’s not supposed to happen to the United States in international compe ion. But it seems to happen more than its fair share under Popovich, who was an assistant under Larry Brown for the 2004 disaster and has overseen a seventh-place finish at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and now a loss at the Olympics after 19 straight wins.

    “Basketball is an international sport,” Popovich said. “There are very good teams all over the world. People shouldn’t be surprised that the French team or Australian team or Lithuanian team – it doesn’t matter who it is – the gap in talent shrinks every year as there are more and more players all over the world, and you need to give the French team credit.”

    You can give the French team credit while also wondering why the U.S. team wasted time at the beginning of this process by picking Kevin Love – a terrible decision that could not be justified by his play over the last couple years – only to see him bail midway through the training camp. You can wonder why the U.S., with a bevy of great young point guards who can run a half-court offense better than the guys they picked, snubbed someone like Trae Young who clearly wanted to be on the team. You can wonder why the spacing is so bad and the ball doesn’t move. You can wonder whether Popovich is too stubborn and too far past his prime to be the right choice to lead this team.

    Ultimately, Team USA can shut everybody up by winning a gold medal, which is still within the realm of possibility. That’s the ultimate scoreboard.

    But as we can see with our own eyes, it won’t be easy. It may not be likely. And it sure won’t be because the alleged greatest coach in basketball history figured something out.

    Popovich has had years to figure out the whole Team USA thing. We’re still waiting for his first good day at the office.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ce/8086604002/
    Damn, went in dry with that one. And Pop deserves it.

  10. #1185
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    Don't know the last time a San Antonio newspaper went in like that, tbh... Poop has had it too good here...

  11. #1186
    Erryday I'm Hustlin' Robz4000's Avatar
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    Don't know the last time a San Antonio newspaper went in like that, tbh... Poop has had it too good here...

    That was from USA today my dude. You'll never see a hit piece on Pop while the Spurs are in SA.

  12. #1187
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    Opinion: Time to face facts, NBA coaching legend Gregg Popovich stinks at Olympic basketball
    Dan Wolken
    USA TODAY

    TOKYO – If you want to call Gregg Popovich the greatest coach in NBA history, go right ahead. But let’s be as direct and to the point as Popovich usually is: He stinks at Olympic basketball.

    We’ve seen enough to say that now, haven’t we? What more do we need to know?

    If you want to know where to put the blame for Team USA’s 83-76 loss to France – America’s first Olympic men’s basketball loss in 6,176 days – look no further than the guy with five NBA les who has been clueless from the very moment he was given the reins to USA Basketball.

    Clueless in what he values with this roster. Clueless with an offense that unlocks very little of what his players do well. Clueless with the expectations he took on by following Mike Krzyzewski in this admittedly thankless job.

    And it’s the last point that irks the most.

    As Popovich attempted to slough off this embarrassment like it's a Wednesday night in January at Minnesota and not the Olympics, he sounded no different from every Power Five college football coach who tries to reassure their fan base after losing to a MAC school that, hey, those guys are on scholarship too.

    “When you lose a game you’re not surprised, you’re disappointed,” Popovich said. “I don’t understand the word surprise. That sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we are supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a of a team. They have NBA players, other talented players playing in Europe who’ve been together for a long time. I think it’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win. You have to work for it, and for those 40 minutes they played better than we did.”

    Everyone understands that France has NBA-level players, as do several teams in this tournament. Rudy Gobert is a star. Evan Fournier and Nic Batum are names you know. Nando de Colo played a little bit in the NBA and has been awesome year in and year out in the EuroLeague.

    But it’s not even the slightest bit jingoistic or hubristic to look at that roster, then look at the U.S. roster, and know within a fraction of a second which one you’d pick.

    You know who gets that? The players on the American team. After the game, a couple reporters caught Damian Lillard outside the locker room, and I asked him if it was fair for fans back home to be shocked by what they saw against France.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s unfair,” Lillard said. “I mean, I think that’s just what the expectations are when you play for Team USA. I think we have a history of dominance, maybe not always blowing people out but we have a history of winning. It’s not often that you see Team USA go out there and lose especially to start.

    "I think that’s why a lot of people will make it seem like the end of the world, but our job as professionals and as this team representing our country in these Olympics, we have to do what’s necessary. We can still accomplish what we came here to accomplish, and we have to make sure we keep that in mind.”

    You know why Lillard isn’t afraid to own up to the fact that Team USA is expected to win these games? Because it’s true.

    USA Basketball didn’t win three straight Olympics and dominate every international event in between by accident. It happened because there was great care put into building those rosters and because there was tremendous buy-in from the top American players and because Krzyzewski did enough not to screw it up.

    This idea that the world has caught up to the USA? Pfft. The world has been good for a long time. The French team isn’t locked in a gym in Paris working on sets all year long laying in wait to knock off the Americans. They’re professional players who have to come together in a short window for these tournaments just like our guys do.

    And for the last 17 years, since the debacle in 2004 in Athens that forced USA Basketball to overhaul everything it was doing, the U.S. has been better at that than everyone else. At least until Popovich showed up with a bag full of excuses, saying ridiculous things like it was good that the U.S. lost to Nigeria in an exhibition game or that “those things happen” when you blow an eight-point lead late in the game.

    It’s not supposed to happen to the United States in international compe ion. But it seems to happen more than its fair share under Popovich, who was an assistant under Larry Brown for the 2004 disaster and has overseen a seventh-place finish at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and now a loss at the Olympics after 19 straight wins.

    “Basketball is an international sport,” Popovich said. “There are very good teams all over the world. People shouldn’t be surprised that the French team or Australian team or Lithuanian team – it doesn’t matter who it is – the gap in talent shrinks every year as there are more and more players all over the world, and you need to give the French team credit.”

    You can give the French team credit while also wondering why the U.S. team wasted time at the beginning of this process by picking Kevin Love – a terrible decision that could not be justified by his play over the last couple years – only to see him bail midway through the training camp. You can wonder why the U.S., with a bevy of great young point guards who can run a half-court offense better than the guys they picked, snubbed someone like Trae Young who clearly wanted to be on the team. You can wonder why the spacing is so bad and the ball doesn’t move. You can wonder whether Popovich is too stubborn and too far past his prime to be the right choice to lead this team.

    Ultimately, Team USA can shut everybody up by winning a gold medal, which is still within the realm of possibility. That’s the ultimate scoreboard.

    But as we can see with our own eyes, it won’t be easy. It may not be likely. And it sure won’t be because the alleged greatest coach in basketball history figured something out.

    Popovich has had years to figure out the whole Team USA thing. We’re still waiting for his first good day at the office.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ce/8086604002/
    This is such a breath of fresh after decades of garbage journalism in San Antonio, praising Pop as an infallible demigod. The best part about Pop taking this national team job is that he no longer has his goons in the SA media to shield him from criticism. Every sports writer in the country is watching and none of them are impressed. Although, I'm sure the sycophant journos in SA will find a way to blame everybody but the old man.

  13. #1188
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    What coach wins without great players?
    The problem was the narrative was that Duncan couldn't win without Pop and that it was Pop that made Duncan great. There are a lot of people in the media and on social media that pushed this stupid narrative.

  14. #1189
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    told y'all Flopovich is one of the worst coaches in the league by now

  15. #1190
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    Ayton can not play. Not a US citizen.
    Sorry, didn't know and didn't bother to search

  16. #1191
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    Meh...Kerr is on the bench, too, and he's no slouch of a coach. While I agree that coaching plays a role, the players need to play with more intensity than that ASG mentality that I've seen so far from them.


    My only issue with Pop is that he doesn't coach stars like he coaches the Spurs. His fear of pissing off the superstars I think is his Achille's heal. He needs to not be afraid to get on guys when they're not putting forth effort. He's protecting the stars, which isn't a good look for him.

  17. #1192
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    When did anyone ever slander Duncan? Duncan would of won multiples anywhere with any coach, can't say the same for Gregg winning without Duncan. How many could Duncan of won with a great coach? Maybe 10!
    You do realize Duncan was on the last Olympic that "failed" and was the centerpiece, right?

    Duncan likely would've won elsewhere but it isn't a guarantee. We'll never know cause he only won here with one coach.

    Same with Pop, who only one where with Duncan.

  18. #1193
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    Meh...Kerr is on the bench, too, and he's no slouch of a coach. While I agree that coaching plays a role, the players need to play with more intensity than that ASG mentality that I've seen so far from them.


    My only issue with Pop is that he doesn't coach stars like he coaches the Spurs. His fear of pissing off the superstars I think is his Achille's heal. He needs to not be afraid to get on guys when they're not putting forth effort. He's protecting the stars, which isn't a good look for him.
    Agreed, a lot of his "prickliness" and rudeness are him trying to deflect criticism (from the players).

    Everyone involved should be upset and feel a sense of urgency. We'll see how it goes.

  19. #1194
    Spurs Sage Russ's Avatar
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    My only issue with Pop is that he doesn't coach stars like he coaches the Spurs. His fear of pissing off the superstars I think is his Achille's heal. He needs to not be afraid to get on guys when they're not putting forth effort. He's protecting the stars, which isn't a good look for him.
    Right there with you. I felt it in Vegas watching this team (before KJ was officially added):

    That's where KJ could come in. Pop could give KJ a role (he looked good) and then coach him hard (like Duncan). That might allow him to coach the other guys. Right now I think Pop is scared of his players. That's not his comfort zone.
    https://www.spurstalk.com/forums/new...reply&t=253385

  20. #1195
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    You do realize Duncan was on the last Olympic that "failed" and was the centerpiece, right?

    Duncan likely would've won elsewhere but it isn't a guarantee. We'll never know cause he only won here with one coach.

    Same with Pop, who only one where with Duncan.
    Duncan winning somewhere else is guaranteed. Even in the worst case scenario he would have gotten at least one le somewhere else.

    Using the '04 Olympics to say Duncan wouldn't win without Pop is stupid. That team was horribly constructed and coached stupidly. Surrounding Duncan with a crappy starting lineup of RJ,AI,Marbury,Boozer was awful. All of those guys couldn't shoot outside of Boozer who could only hit mid range shots.

  21. #1196
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    I completely agree with the author when he says that Pop is past his prime. But this article is so melodramatic

    Team USA will still win the gold. That’ll probably be their only loss of the tournament. People are acting like the world is falling apart
    i stopped reading about half way through. the overall conclusion may be right but the premises this op-ed offers are sloppy and show that the writer's basketball a en is pretty bad.

  22. #1197
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    Team USA will still win the gold. That’ll probably be their only loss of the tournament.
    What about them losing three games out of what five now makes you think that?

  23. #1198
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    I’m embarrassed to be an American.
    Biden and Harris are very bad true

  24. #1199
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    told y'all Flopovich is one of the worst coaches in the league by now
    Pop lost his mojo years ago, he really should have retired after 2015.

  25. #1200
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    Column: Gregg Popovich needs to take blame for the underperforming U.S. men’s basketball team
    By Dylan Hernández | Columnist
    July 26, 2021 2:15 PM PT

    He was a firm, essential voice of reason during the most brazenly racist presidency in generations.

    Over the four years in which the White House was occupied by a vulgar failed casino operator, Gregg Popovich earned widespread respect as more than a basketball coach. The praise came from both minorities who appreciated him using his position as a successful white authority figure to speak on their behalf and from white progressives who admired how he articulated their sentiments.

    Now, in what could be his final act in public life as the leader of the U.S. basketball team at these Games, the 72-year-old Popovich has been considerably less dignified.

    He’s blowing it.

    In the wake of the U.S.’s embarrassing 83-76 defeat to France in its Olympic opener on Sunday night, the five-time NBA champion coach came across as unaccountable.

    He was defensive. Arrogant, even.

    “There’s nothing to be surprised about,” Popovich told reporters. “That’s the part that confuses me a little bit.”

    Really, there’s nothing surprising about a team representing the country that invented the sport, has the most compe ive league and the best players blowing a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter?

    It’s bad enough that Popovich hasn’t been able to convince some of his players to take on the roles required for the U.S. to win a gold medal — or even beat cannon fodder such as France. It’s bad enough that Popovich runs an offense that fails to maximize the offensive weapons on his roster.

    What turns this coaching failure into something worse is the demeanor of Popovich. The same man who represented the more sensible parts of America during the Trump presidency is now personifying the country’s worst traits, and on the global stage, no less.

    If the selling of complete nonsense indicates how little a speaker thinks of his or her audience’s intelligence, Popovich obviously has none for the people chronicling his Olympic misadventures or to the readers and viewers to whom they are relaying his words.

    “I don’t understand the word ‘surprise,’” Popovich continued. “That sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we were supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a of a team.”

    A of a team that lost an exhibition game the previous week to Japan, which at No. 42 in the FIBA rankings is behind the likes of South Korea, Tunisia and Georgia.

    “They’ve got a great coaching staff,” Popovich continued. “They’ve got NBA players and other talented players playing in Europe [who have been] together for a long time.”

    While it’s true the U.S. is subject to more roster turnover than other international teams, it also has the most talented collection of players.

    LeBron James isn’t playing? So what?

    Uneven as its roster might be, the U.S. has Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum. No other team here can match that, certainly not France, which has good-but-not-great players in Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum.

    “I think that’s a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win,” Popovich said.

    And it’s an appalling abdication of responsibility to think it’s even remotely acceptable for the U.S. to lose to France.

    Popovich pointed to how teams from other countries are improving. He’s right. Just because that’s true doesn’t mean that it also can’t be true the U.S. should still be lapping the field.

    None of this should diminish what Popovich has accomplished with the Spurs. He was the right coach at the right time for them. He is a surefire Hall of Famer. He also happens to be the wrong coach at the wrong time for the U.S., with a resume in international compe ion that doesn’t measure up to his NBA success.

    He was an assistant to Larry Brown at the disastrous 2004 Games, where the U.S. settled for a bronze medal.

    Taking over for Mike Krzyzewski as the U.S. head coach after the 2016 Olympics, Popovich led the team to a worst-ever seventh-place finish at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Earlier this month, the U.S. dropped exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia.

    That shouldn’t be the standard. That can’t be the standard.

    Brazilians wouldn’t ever accept the coach of their men’s soccer team excusing a loss to, say, the U.S. by pointing to how much its opponent has evolved. Brazil dropping a game to the U.S. in soccer is inexcusable under any cir stance.

    That’s part of the job.

    Regardless of whether he acknowledges it, Popovich inherited a similar burden from Krzyzewski.

    While Popovich played dumb, at least one of his players said he understood the responsibilities that came with representing the U.S. in basketball.

    “I think that’s just what the expectations are when you play for Team USA,” Lillard said.

    Lillard didn’t perform up to the expectations on the court, but he understood how he had to comport himself after. Popovich didn’t do either.

    https://www.latimes.com/sports/olymp...coach-olympics

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