Gregg Popovich Says He's Hated the 3-Point Shot for 20 Years

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs looks on against the Chicago Bulls on November 26, 2018 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich may actually despise something more than sideline interviews.

Prior to the Spurs' 108-107 win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday, Popovich elaborated on how much he loathes the three-point shot, per Sam Smith of the Bulls' official site:

"I hate it, but I always have. I've hated the three for 20 years. That's why I make a joke all the time (and say) if we're going to make it a different game, let's have a four-point play. Because if everybody likes the three, they'll really like the four. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There's no basketball anymore, there's no beauty in it. It's pretty boring. But it is what it is and you need to work with it."

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry weighed in on Instagram with his thoughts about Popovich's comments.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Steph disagrees 😂 https://t.co/dwNhdnxwEq

This isn't the first time Popovich has expressed disdain for the long-range jumper.

"I still hate it. I'll never embrace it," he told reporters in December 2015. "I don't think it's basketball. I think it's kind of like a circus sort of thing."

Popovich added that the league might as well consider a five-point shot or a seven-pointer, a thought he echoed in March 2016.

The Spurs are tied for 28th in made three-pointers (9.4 per game), which is where they finished a season ago (8.5). Even when San Antonio had a healthy Kawhi Leonard in 2016-17, it was tied for 16th in three-point makes (9.2).

Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman noted the Spurs have generally finished below the league average in three-pointers recently. That may be more indicative of the team's personnel rather than Popovich letting his beliefs influence his decision-making.

Even at his best, Leonard wasn't a high-volume three-point shooter by today's standards. The presence of LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol also meant the Spurs prioritized getting the ball inside.

Granted, one could argue building an offense partly around Aldridge and Gasol is archaic.

Whether he likes it or not, Popovich will be well aware contending for a title is extremely difficult in the modern game without some reliance on the three-pointer.