Popovich empathizes with Ukraine, calls out “lickspittles” of Putin (Cruz/Crowley)
[free article, diversion from the Warriors-Spurs loss]
[The video above is clickable and includes a previous Steve Kerr interview expounding on how Gregg Popovich impacts the lives around him.]
I have found that when it comes to basketball, there’s a silver lining to almost any situation. For example, at the very end of the Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs live chat, I concocted a silver lining to Stephen Curry’s left foot sprain injury: whomever the Warriors face in the first round the playoffs will only have eleven minutes or so of game tape from which to strategize specifically against a lineup including Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green altogether. It is this positivity that gets you through the adversity.
Warriors lost? Infamous ref Marat Kogut sucked for the second time in the Curry era and threw out Draymond for, if I’m reading lips correctly, saying, “C’mon man!” and “That’s terrible!”? Note: zero personal attacks or expletives used! Andrew Wiggins missed free throws again? Klay ironically committed the same landing spot foul that Zaza Pachulia did to Kawhi Leonard (wasn’t a foul back then, obviously), which spawned the very rule? The coaching staff surprisingly sided with Klay to use a challenge? Ref Ed Malloy, usually a fan favorite, shockingly actually blew his whistle on a (less than) 50-50 play to help decide a game at the free throw line? We let Josh Richardson keep shooting and shooting for 25 points off the bench? No big deal. 🤷🏻♂️
And so one of the silver linings to tonight’s loss to the Spurs is that, instead of me posting a Warriors-related, “feel-good” interview of some sort on the YouTube channel as well as this website, this loss gives me a chance to divert your attention away from the NBA for a moment. No one wants to dwell in the quagmire of what’s currently wrong with our squad anyways. Let’s talk about something off-topic. Besides, Steve and Pop are probably discussing this at dinner somewhere in San Francisco right now as I write this.
Because at the end the Spurs’ pregame, Popovich — who according to SF Chronicle’s feature writer Scott Ostler studied Soviet intelligence — went yard on Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, plus labeled Ted Cruz and per my cursory research Monica Crowley as “lickspittles”.
So I learned the definition of a new word and who Monica Crowley is, and was reminded that families are being split and lives sacrificed to defend a people’s homeland.
I’m gonna miss Pop after he retires this year. Wish I’d known him better. Hope the Spurs’ win tonight somehow helps them get the 10th seed. No coach deserves that more than him.
But if he doesn’t get the Spurs to the play-in round, at least he’ll get a proper send-off on the last day of the regular season in Dallas. Mark Cuban always does a great job of honoring the game’s greats, no matter what team they played for. It obviously won’t be as bonkers as the Dirk Nowitzki jersey retirement, but expect something on the Mavs’ Jumbotron like this:
As I said, there’s a silver lining to almost anything in basketball. But I’m not sure if there is for war and I don’t think I’ll find one for what the Ukraine has to go through.
“It’s been hard to even think about basketball, to be honest with you. It’s just become so insignificant in your day-to-day with every photo that you see on TV. It’s kinda like — I’m actually glad that stuff’s on TV — when things started to come on TV about Vietnam, that’s when it changed. People didn’t know what the hall was going on in Vietnam. All the lies we got told and all the atrocities all over the place, back and forth. And here, any sane individual would be just traumatized by what they’re seeing and it’s still impossible for us, as I’m sure you’d agree. We can’t feel what it’d be like to drive your wife and your daughter and son to the border and say goodbye and know you’re gonna go back and die. Because the Russians are gonna pull this bullshit a lot of people fall for, including some of the people in our government. Those are the people that really make me sick. For political and personal reasons they’re willing to jump on a Putin bandwagon and use that? You know, guys like Cruz and Crowley. You can just go down the list. They’re just despicable people for even thinking about saying the things they’ve said. You’ve got the people on Fox News I won’t even name. They know what they’re saying, they’re highly intelligent people, but they’re still willing to do it. Just lickspittles of the highest order. That’s probably enough trouble for me. (Walks off podium.)”