SAN ANTONIO – After each Spurs practice, the media assembles in a corner of the facility and prepares for an encounter with famously gruff San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. Other teams call it an interview session. With Pop, it’s more like a duel at 10 paces.
Pop is the only one armed. Verbally.
Within the word “intimidate” is the word “timid,” and that combination exists at each get-together. Pop has a naturally irritated look that has been refined by years of repetition. And San Antonio reporters, blistered consistently when questions don’t seem to measure up to Pop standards, approach each session like they have to walk barefoot across a bed of hot coals.
Pop opened the session Saturday by announcing that Tim Duncan had to leave practice because of a stomach bug. Someone asked if that concerned him.