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Gregg Popovich shares surprising answer on what he’s learned over 17 years

  • Jason Whitney

Gregg Popovich said he’s learned to “shut up more” during his long career

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has shown his softer side over the past several weeks. Last season, Popovich was a Ray Allen three-pointer away from collecting his fifth NBA championship as coach of the Spurs. Now, fast forward a year, and Pop is once again in  position to win the Larry O’Brien trophy. And now the “softer” Coach Pop was pleasant enough to share his thoughts on how he has evolved in the NBA even after 17 successful years that include six Finals appearances and an array of awards. The answer might surprise you.

Via Express News:

“I think I’ve learned to shut up more, and that probably is due to Manu Ginobili. When he first came, I was going to make him a heck of a player. And after 20 minutes, I realized that he didn’t need me to do that. He was already a heck of a player. Sometimes being quiet and letting the player play is much more important than trying to be Mr. Coach and teach him this or teach him that. 

While Popovich is a heck of a coach, he definitely is right on this one. Having players such as Avery Johnson, Bruce Bowen, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and many others over the years, he didn’t need to be hands on like several other coaches. These players were all smart and know how to play the game of basketball as shown over the last decade plus. Popovich would expand on his idea that less is more while giving out a few more tidbits of his knowledge.

“So I think as time evolves and you get older in the business, you figure out what’s really important, and you don’t waste time trying to make people what they’re not going to be. I didn’t make him a competitor, and there is no way I could make him a non-competitor, so you’ve just got to figure out who people are and what they can give you and take advantage of their positives. 

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