Sportress of Blogitude

Gregg Popovich rallied food bank workers with ‘pretty special’ pep talk

Gregg Popovich’s cantankerous ways are the stuff of legend, but the legendary Spurs head coach showed off his motivational skills with an inspiring pep talk to overworked staffers at a San Antonio food bank.

Pop participated in a conference call with the workers that included a Q&A session earlier this week, and it sounds like his words of encouragement really resonated with those staffing the food bank.

“It was pretty sweet, pretty special,” San Antonio Food Bank president and CEO Eric Cooper said Tuesday, per the San Antonio Express-News.

Popovich serves on the food bank’s advisory board, so he knows firsthand the duress it is under amid the overwhelming hunger crisis unfolding amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As of Tuesday evening, there have been 815 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Antonio along with 33 documented deaths due to the novel coronavirus. The dramatic increase in unemployment and other negative impacts of the pandemic have obviously placed a tremendous strain on the resources of food banks and other associated programs.

Cooper praised Popovich for how the Spurs coach “took time to cheer up the staff and tell them to keep going,” adding he “told them some stories about some tough games and how to get through a crisis.”

Pop also attempted to put the work being done at the food bank in its proper perspective when compared to what basketball players do for a living.

“He said, ‘We are just entertainers playing a sport that doesn’t mean much, but you guys are serving the community,’” Cooper said. “Our staff and volunteers really appreciated it.”

Popovich has cultivated a well-deserved reputation over the years of being deeply committed to social issues, and he’s never been hesitant to speak out on matters of deep personal meaning to him.

Attempting to lift the spirits of understandably weary and presumably exhausted food bank workers is simply another example of how Pop’s frosty reputation doesn’t tell the entire story.