As the Celtics prepared to play in San Antonio on Saturday evening, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expressed some love for four Boston players.

Popovich coached the U.S. men’s national basketball team during the FIBA World Cup this past summer, which included Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Popovich gave high praise to the four players prior to his matchup against them at AT&T Center.

“I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed being with a group more,” Popovich said, as transcribed by the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy. “The four Celtics obviously and everybody else, it was like a daily clinic for about 48, 49 days.”

While the team lost in crushing fashion to France in the quarterfinal, Popovich’s words of approval always are something for players to appreciate. Clearly, playing on Team USA for that month-and-a-half got this Celtics core some much-needed playing time, as they’ve kickstarted their season in the right direction.

Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images