A few weeks ago, after the San Antonio Spurs nearly coughed up a game to the Dallas Mavericks, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich unleashed a mini-rant about his team’s “pathetic performance.” After dropping a road game to the Bulls last night, Pop was similarly perturbed.
Popovich called out his team for their lack of effort, claiming that they only played hard for 24 minutes, adding that the players have been coasting for about 10 games now:
On reporter asked Popovich if he was at all responsible for his team’s sluggish performance, to which Pop replied:
I don’t remember playing tonight. No Knute Rockne speeches. It’s your job. If you’re a plumber and you don’t do your job, you don’t get any work. I don’t think a plumber needs a pep talk. A doctor botches operations, and he’s not a doctor anymore. If you’re a basketball player, you come ready. It’s called maturity. It’s your job.
It’s a little strange to see a guy who is coaching an 18-5 team that owns the sixth-best net rating in the league and is now 13-1 on the road talk like he’s in charge of some middling .500 team. But Pop has been doing this a long time, and if he thinks his players need a kick in the ass, he’s probably right.