Sportress of Blogitude

Gregg Popovich delivers great response to Nikola Jokic question

Gregg Popovich is without question among the most eminently quotable personalities in the NBA. The curmudgeonly San Antonio Spurs head coach was provided an opportunity to fire off another zinger Wednesday thanks to an inquiry from the media.

A reporter made the suggestion to Pop ahead of Wednesday’s 111-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets that Nikola Jokic is “revolutionizing” the game at the center position. The oft-surly head coach bristled at the word choice while delivering another classic Popovichian screed.

“When I think of revolution, I think of people like Che Guevara, Ivan Illich, Lenin… I don’t really think of Jokic as quite a revolutionary,” Popovich said, via ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. “So I think you’re a bit hyperbolic there. But he is one heck of a player. When you look at him… he won’t take it wrong. He’s a good guy. We were in Belgrade together. He’s got a great sense of humor. He’s a tad pudgy, you know? And he doesn’t jump out of the gym. He doesn’t run that fast. But he might be one of the smartest players in the league, and he’s got skills, and he knows how to use them. And he enjoys the hell out of himself out there. He’s been very important for them, obviously.”

What’s great about Popovich’s response is that he actually pays Jokic a pretty nice compliment. The thing is Pop at the same time also mentioned how Jokic is a “tad pudgy” and boasts a relative lack of athleticism. That’s quintessential Popovich right there.

The only thing that would have been better is if the reporter who asked the original question had mentioned the three-point shot as well, as that would have definitely elicited an even more fiery response out of Popovich.