Gregg Popovich is a pretty transparent guy. If his team plays poorly, he’ll let his players know.
Well, that certainly happened Thursday night, and Pop lived up to his reputation.
The San Antonio Spurs suffered their first road loss of the season, falling 95-91 to the Chicago Bulls after scoring just 32 points in the first half.
Popovich called out his team after the game, pointing out, via ESPN.com, that “guys get a lot of money to be ready to play.” A reporter countered by asking if it was Popovich’s job to make sure his players are ready. Here’s how he responded:
“I don’t remember playing tonight,” Popovich said. “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.”
Seems straightforward enough.
In a further effort to not beat around the bush, Popovich offered a blunt assessment of how his team is playing right now.
“We’re not a very consistent team, and we haven’t learned as a group that the game is 48 minutes,” he said, via ESPN.com. “We also have some people playing very poorly. You have to participate in your own recovery. Some players have to play better.”
Now is a good time to remind you that the Spurs are the second-best team in basketball at 18-5 and had won four straight entering Thursday. But when you play for Pop, the bar is set a little higher.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images