Gregg Popovich On Why He Feels Like An Idiot
Gregg Popovich is widely regarded as one of the NBA’s most intelligent leaders. Well spoken and with a legacy that will inevitably stand the test of time, the San Antonio Spurs head coach rarely finds himself in a situation where he comes out feeling like an idiot.
The 71-year-old opened up about one such instance during a recent interview.
One of the league’s most notable big men, Boban Marjanovic, actually started out his career in San Antonio. He inked a one-year deal worth slightly more than a million dollars with the Spurs in 2015.
Despite showing promise, Marjanovic’s pending restricted free agency meant that Popovich would have to match any offer that was received by the big Serbian.
The Spurs opted to let him walk.
Marjanovic ended up getting a three-year, $21 million deal from the Detroit Pistons.
To this day, Popovich regrets letting him go.
“I felt like an idiot,” Popovich told The Athletic’s NBA insider Tim Cato.
“Sometimes, you do things because you know it’s right for the person. If you can do something that’s good for the team and the person, that’s great.
“But he was, we brought him over here so he felt that loyalty and everything. But we sort of had to explain to him that that loyalty only goes so far. You’ve got to take care of your family, and people make decisions to take care of their families.
“The offer he was getting was something that we couldn’t match, and I would have felt forever guilty if I would have convinced him to stay and give up all that money. In the end, I just had to say, “No, you’re going. You’re gonna go. You have a family. You have to do it.”
NBA ratings noticeably declined after last week’s stoppage. https://t.co/DzvGJoEOjh
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 2, 2020
This past season Marjanovic was a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He started in five games and played in a total of 44 outings. For the season, he recorded 6.6 points (on 57.3 percent shooting) and 4.5 rebounds in just under 10 minutes per game.
Last week, Marjanovic and the Mavericks were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Clippers in six games.
The Spurs, meanwhile, failed to make the playoffs for the first time in two decades this past season.