Gregg Popovich is occasionally a grumpy old man, but that doesn’t mean he’s resistant to change.
According to James Herbert of CBS Sports, the 66-year-old San Antonio Spurs head coach said he has not and will not ever learn to love the three-point shot.
“I still hate it. I’ll never embrace it. I don’t think it’s basketball. I think it’s kind of like a circus sort of thing. Why don’t we have a 5-point shot? A 7-point shot? You know, where does it stop, that sort of thing. But that’s just me, that’s just old-school.”
Popovich grew up in the era of winning at the rim, and his NBA success is a direct result of players who excelled in that regard.
Hall of Fame center David Robinson and Springfield-bound Tim Duncan — the “Twin Towers” — guided San Antonio to championships during the 1998-99 and 2002-03 seasons under Popovich. Duncan has since helped Pop and the Spurs add three more rings to the collection.
However, Pop isn’t stubborn to the fact three-point shooters played a significant role in those titles as well as the Golden State Warriors’ current success.
“To a certain degree, you better embrace it or you’re going to lose. And every time we’ve won a championship, the 3-point shot was a big part of it. Because it is so powerful and you’ve gotta be able to do it. And nobody does it better than Golden State, and you know where they’re at. So it’s important. You can’t ignore it.”
Popovich has earned the right to tell NBA followers to get off his lawn. Five championships later, who are we to argue with his view of basketball?
Besides, just because Pop isn’t a fan of the shot doesn’t mean he doesn’t recognize the value. Three is worth more than two. It’s difficult to dispute that.
Including the 2015-16 season, San Antonio’s three-point shooting percentage has earned a top-10 ranking during each of the last six year. Pop doesn’t like it, but he certainly knows how to use the weapon.