Gregg Popovich got to reminisce a little bit prior to the San Antonio Spurs taking on the Boston Celtics on Saturday evening.
The longtime Spurs head coach remembered what it was like to meet now-Celtics guard Derrick White when San Antonio drafted him with the 29th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
And in typical fashion for Popovich, he had a hilarious thought during his first encounter with White.
“I was hoping one day he would speak,” Popovich told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn.
Now in his second season with the Celtics, White is still pretty soft-spoken. White discussed last season the challenge of transitioning to a new team in the middle of the season, as he looked to mesh with his teammates both on and off the court. But he looks more comfortable with the Celtics this year as he lets his play do the majority of his talking.
He has certainly garnered the respect of his teammates for how he goes about his business as well as becoming an integral piece in Boston’s rotation, averaging 10 points, 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game this season.
Saturday will be the first chance for White to go up against the organization that he began his NBA career with after the Celtics acquired him at last year’s trade deadline. White spent the first four-plus seasons of his career with the Spurs.
And while White’s skill set surely won’t surprise Popovich, maybe White will catch his coach off guard by engaging him in a much longer conversation this time around.