In his final pregame press conference of the 2013 NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich went out with a bang. Already famous (or infamous, if you're one of the unlucky media members to present him with a question he doesn't like) for his glib sound bites and crusty, dismissive responses, Pop peppered the press with a litany of gems before his team took the floor for Game 7.
His takes were wide-ranging, covering everything from in-game strategy to his feelings on retirement.
Pop asked how long he wants to keep coaching: "Vacation is overrated...there's only so many tomatoes u can grow, so many books u can read."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 20, 2013
This was just the beginning, though, as Popovich deadpanned another answer that actually gave a not-so-subtle glimpse into the sheer exhaustion he and his team are feeling at this late stage of the postseason.
Gregg Popovich, at his best: "This is the last game, right? Best news I've heard all day."— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 20, 2013
Don't worry, the curmudgeonly coach's trademark derision was in full effect. All it took was a question he deemed dumb enough to deserve some scorn.
I'm glad Pop treated "Why will your team win tonight?" with all the "Are you f----- kidding me? scorn it deserved. AK— Kamenetzky Brothers (@KamBrothers) June 20, 2013
Pop is always a little cranky, but he's under more stress than ever at the moment. While he's certainly enjoying the challenge of competing on the league's biggest stage at some level, he was also brutally honest about how difficult the playoffs always are.
Gregg Popovich said that the NBA Finals is torture. When asked why he coaches, he responded: "I've always said coaches are sick puppies."— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 21, 2013
Speaking of challenges, Popovich zinged the press with a biting shot at the quality of their questions.
Popovich, on his Finals media sessions, "The questions are so incisive and well thought out, how can one not enjoy the challenge?"— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 21, 2013
Good one, Pop. But to be fair, whether the Spurs coach actually answers a question seriously almost never has to do with its quality; usually, it has more to do with his mood. And it's never easy to predict when he'll be in a bad one.
For all of his barbs and trite responses, Popovich has earned a devoted following among media members who enjoy his brusque—but refreshingly different—press conferences. After this one, everyone was singing his praises.
I'm a little disappointed Pop didn't drop the mic before leaving, but that's still a solid "A+" pregame presser.— Kamenetzky Brothers (@KamBrothers) June 21, 2013
Finally, in another honest moment, Popovich confided in the media, admitting that he's been in the same boat as everyone else when it comes to predicting the outcomes of the recent finals games.
Pop with the most honest comment on Game 7: "I have no clue what's going to happen."— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) June 21, 2013
Game 7 will determine whether the Heat or the Spurs take home the Larry O'Brien Trophy as NBA champs, but Gregg Popovich has long been the undisputed king of the press conference.