Gregg Popovich: Magic Johnson ‘somewhat of an idol,’ hopes he succeeds with Lakers

For a guy who once had a reputation for not saying much, Gregg Popovich has become quite loquacious these days. The San Antonio Spurs head coach has lately been very vocal about political matters.

Now he’s given us some interesting things to chew on regarding Magic Johnson, who’s the new President of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times passed along the following exchange, with Popovich commenting on Johnson and the Lakers, and his comments might surprise you.

It’s pretty amazing (and very cool) that a head coach who’s won five NBA titles since 1999 considers Magic to be “somewhat of an idol.”

But it’s not all that surprising. Popovich has never been full of himself, remaining humble throughout the years. His comment, “We’ve been successful I guess” is a perfect illustration of this.

It is also a testament to Popovich’s character and long-view vision that he hopes the Lakers can become revitalized under Johnson. The Spurs and Lakers used to be quite the rivalry in the Western Conference, after all.

He’s not wrong, either. The NBA is a better league when its teams in the big cities are winners.

Popovich’s finale here is also a gem. His dry sense of humor and wit come through beautifully, and we can easily envision a twinkle in his eye as he talked about how he hopes “half the team shows up today” against the Lakers.

Never change, coach.