Gregg Popovich doesn’t do in-game interviews. Not very well, any way. However, during Thursday night’s San Antonio Spurs game against the Memphis Grizzlies the grizzled head coach broke from tradition to give a heartfelt welcome back message to Craig Sager, who was in the hospital for months fighting cancer.
Popovich, with heartfelt sincerity, gave Sager an interview worth watching, and re-watching, over and over again.
“I can honestly tell you that this is the first time I’ve enjoyed doing this ridiculous interview we’re required to do. And it’s because you’re here. You’re back with us,” Popovich said. “Welcome back baby.”
Popovich also gave another great line when he said he pulled his starters because “they played like crap,” but it was the personal portion of the interview that really stands out.
Despite what many have likely interpreted as a prickly relationship with these two men, given Popovich’s normal responses to interview questions on the court during games, it’s clear the head coach has a ton of respect for Sager, and that the respect is mutual.