Coach Popovich ‘Couldn’t Be More Proud’
Amid a flood of regret and a few tears, the question felt unseemly. Now is not the time to talk about the future of the San Antonio Spurs.
Even if everyone is thinking it.
To discuss and dissect the future of a franchise that’s been on the last of its title legs for six years now almost robs the Spurs of this moment. This is a time to celebrate what they’ve done, not only for their quiet and proud South Texas outpost, but for the league in general and basketball as a whole.
“I couldn’t love our guys more,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after a gut-wrenching Game 7 defeat. “What they accomplished this year is something nobody would have ever expected. And they showed a lot of mental toughness and a lot of good play to get where they got. And I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The Spurs are good for the game. Their professionalism and graciousness and talent have graced The Finals stage across NBA generations. They’ve bridged the gap from Jordan to Kobe and now to LeBron, winning four championships along the way.
This group, led from the start of this run by Tim Duncan and Pop, may never get its fifth. The reality that no one wanted to talk about, as Thursday night turned into early Friday, is staring the Spurs in the face.
“I’m not going to think about next season,” Popovich said. “I’m going to enjoy what they accomplished this season and feel badly about the loss all at the same time. I don’t know how you do that, but I’ll figure it out.”