Popovich maintains perspective despite Spurs' blowout loss in Game 1

ByMichael C. Wright ESPN logo
Sunday, April 15, 2018

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Gregg Popovich picked up the small bottle of Gatorade next to the mic at the lectern and took a look, before quickly questioning the need to serve as pitchman of the product after the San Antonio Spurs' 113-92 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

"Do I have to drink this?" Popovich asked.

"No," an official responded.

"So, it's supposed to be here?" Popovich asked again. "What if I don't like ... there's too much sugar and all that kind of stuff. I don't want to promote that."

Just as uneasy officials attempted to let Popovich off the hook, the coach waved them off jokingly, before slamming the Gatorade down on the table. The comedic sequence of events at the news conference belied the significance of the Game 1 beating the Spurs took at the hands of the Warriors to go down 1-0 in their best-of-seven series.

"Have a sense of humor, will you?" Popovich said. "Just because you got your ass kicked tonight doesn't mean you can't have a sense of humor."

Popovich finally settled into his seat, saying, "OK, what do you want? I'm so tired of this."

Then a reporter fired off the first question, asking what went wrong with the Spurs.

"They played better than we did," Popovich responded.

Another reporter then questioned Popovich's decision to assign Danny Green to cover Kevin Durant and asked how the move worked out for the Spurs.

"Did you watch the game?" Popovich asked. "What do you think? Didn't work very well. We'll have Danny grow four or five inches by Monday night, tell him to jump higher and move quicker, and we'll tell Kevin, 'Don't be so good.'"

The Spurs lost 4-0 to the Warriors last season in the Western Conference finals, and the teams meet Monday for Game 2 of this opening-round series.

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