San Antonio Spurs

Popovich Asks Spurs to Get Nasty, Stephen Jackson Says That's His Name

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 27:  Stephen Jackson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts in the fourth quarter while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 27, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Holly MacKenzieNBA Lead BloggerMay 28, 2012

We're big fans of Gregg Popovich's media scrums around here. If you love the NBA, it's pretty much mandatory that you enjoy watching Popovich make the media squirm.

Last night, during the San Antonio Spurs' Game 1 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pop was at his best between the third and fourth quarters, motivating his team after a lackluster third quarter where they scored just 16 points.

Trailing by nine going into the final quarter, Popovich encouraged his team to be nasty. Passionately reminding them that trying to get to the NBA Finals isn't supposed to be easy, he called them out on their passiveness and told them to be confident.

 

After the game, Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News tweeted that Stephen Jackson said he understood what Popovich meant during the timeout. "My name is nasty," he said.

Perfect.

It's no secret that Jackson was thrilled to return to San Antonio. It's easy to see why, too.

Popovich and the Spurs front office care about him. They appreciate him and they "get" him. In return, he leaves everything he has on the court for them—even when it's a tough task, like guarding Kevin Durant down the stretch in Game 1—and he is also the team's best cheerleader from the bench when he's not in the game.

While the friendship between Tim Duncan and Jackson has provided lots of entertainment since Jackson's return to San Antonio, the player-coach relationship that Jackson has with Popovich shows why the Spurs were once again winners at the trade deadline when they brought Jackson back into the fold.

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