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Sportress of Blogitude

Gregg Popovich takes a photo with fan, jokingly asks for $10 (pic)

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A reddit user going by the handle of skillzdan had a chance encounter with the San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on the streets of New York. The Spurs played the Knicks on Tuesday night but arrived a night early, apparently allowing Pop to spend some time out and about exploring the city on Monday.

Going completely against character, Popovich accommodated skillzdan’s request for a photograph, demonstrating that even the oft-surly coach can be affable and friendly … at times.

In other words, he didn’t treat the fan like a sideline reporter, who are often beneath Pop’s contempt.

Perhaps the best part? Popovich jokingly requested a fee for agreeing to have his picture taken. He determined ten bucks would be the going rate.

skillzdan’s accounting of his brief, random encounter with Popovich, as relayed on reddit:

Ran into Pop on 45th street in Midtown Manhattan last night. He was headed into a bar with who I presume was his wife. I was subject to the shortest most Pop interview ever. “Hey Pop can I get a selfie?!” “Yes.”

We followed him into the bar but he was in a semi-private area with a bunch of very decorated military men. On his way out a few of my friends snapped another pic with him and that was all she wrote. Tried coming up with some small talk to bulls**t with him about but… It’s Pop. No small talk with that guy. He jokingly asked for $10 after the selfie and then laughed his way out of my life.

Popovich’s relatively standoffish public persona leads to the impression that he would be as cantankerous and curmudgeonly as they come in random social situations. In other words, one wouldn’t expect the coach to be so nice to a fan who approached him on the street.

Let’s put it this way: It’s safe to say that Popovich was in much better spirits on Monday night than he was after the Spurs lost to the Knicks on Tuesday by a score of 104-100 in overtime. The disgusted head coach savaged his team, saying the players gave a “pathetic performance.” Yikes.

[H/T Eye on Basketball, photo credit: reddit]