Gregg Popovich Comments on NBA Bubble Safety, Opportunity to Continue Raising Awareness

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs officially arrived in Florida for the NBA’s season restart plan several days ago. They’ve since gone through the mandatory quarantine period upon arrival at the NBA “bubble” site and have held their first team practice together. Popovich spoke with the media after that session and seems to feel confident in what the NBA is doing to protect the health and safety of those involved. He’s also confident it provides a great opportunity to continue bringing awareness to social issues.

Gregg Popovich Makes Orlando Trip, Speaks to Media About Situation

Initially, some people thought that Gregg Popovich wouldn’t go along for the San Antonio Spurs’ trip to Orlando, Florida. Even Popovich himself had some doubts about going due to the risks. However, he erased the doubts this past week, as a report arrived that he would coach at the bubble site.

Now that he’s there, he’s been able to speak more about his decision to participate. Based on talking to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Pop said he feels safer at the bubble site than he would in other places right now.

“If you’re thinking person, you’re going to look at all sides of a situation,” Popovich said, per MSN’s report. “And, especially being 71 years old, I thought, ‘Is this where I want to spend a lot of my time, doing this, under these circumstances?’”

The CDC specifies that individuals age 65 and over carry more risk for being vulnerable to serious health effects from coronavirus. However, the Spurs coach decided it was something he could do. He based it on the safety protocols that the league was putting in place for the players and personnel at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Pop also confidently told the media that he believes it’s a better place to be than the Spurs’ home state.

“If this bubble works, I’m safer here than I would be in Texas,” Popovich said. “And since the decision was made to do this to start the season again, under these circumstances, with all the precautions, what a great opportunity.”

Pop on NBA’s Power to Continue Raising Awareness

The coronavirus pandemic was one major concern for many people deciding about the NBA restart in Florida. However, there were also plenty of players who felt the restart might take focus away from protests about racial inequality. Popovich feels that the restart will help to continue bringing attention to these issues through a powerful platform.

“We have an opportunity to do something transformative if we have the courage,” Popovich said. “And as with many things in today’s world, interest wanes pretty quickly no matter what the topic.”

“In this particular situation, talking about racism, it’s been talked about many, many times over centuries and this is where we are,” Pop said. 

“Everybody is very committed to keeping it up front in everybody’s consciousness. Even though everybody’s excited to go play, this is a great opportunity to make sure that we maintain the momentum, because that’s what it takes,” the Spurs coach said.

Popovich’s comments come after San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills committed to donate his remaining salary from the NBA restart towards organizations that dedicated to fighting racism.

The NBA is also giving players part of their jerseys space for messages to help continue raising awareness. In place of the players’ last names, they’ll be able to display messages related to the cause. Those include words and phrases such as “Black Lives Matter,” “Equality,” and “I Can’t Breathe.”

The Spurs begin their quest to try to gain the final playoff spot in the Western Conference on July 31. Visit our Spurs news page for more of the latest updates on the players and team.