Gregg Popovich doubles down on hatred of three-point shot
Gregg Popovich is an old-school NBA coach who finds himself forced to adapt to a new era of basketball in which the focus on the three-point shot, in his estimation, is over-exaggerated.
As is always the case whenever Pop gets the opportunity to rail against the three-pointer, the curmudgeonly coach did not hold back when expressing his antipathy over how the shot has taken over the NBA game.
“I hate it, but I always have,” Popovich is quoted as saying Monday for an NBA.com piece about the three-pointer. “I’ve hated the three for 20 years. That’s why I make a joke all the time (and say) if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a four-point play. Because if everybody likes the three, they’ll really like the four. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There’s no basketball anymore, there’s no beauty in it. It’s pretty boring. But it is what it is and you need to work with it.”
Popovich went on to bemoan the extraordinary emphasis that is placed on the three-pointer, albeit while acknowledging that is the case “because it’s proven to be analytically correct.” He went on to add that the first thing that is looked at on the stat sheet after the game is three-point comparisons between teams.
“If you made threes and the other team didn’t, you win,” Popovich said. “You don’t even look at the rebounds or the turnovers or how much transition D was involved. You don’t even care. That’s how much an impact the three-point shot has and it’s evidenced by how everybody plays.”
Pop presumably was profoundly disappointed looking at the box score from the Spurs’ 128-89 shellacking by the Timberwolves Wednesday night. The T-Wolves converted on 18-of-41 three-pointers (43.9 percent) to the Spurs’ 8-of-27 (29.6 percent).
To summarize his hatred about the three-pointer’s overwhelming influence on the modern game, Popovich made a point about its impact on conventional offense.
“The inside game is kaputski,” Popovich quipped.
Sadly for Pop, there’s no chance that’s going to change anytime soon.