Pop gets weird ... and starts Cory Joseph

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker's injury has apparently brought out the randomness in the Spurs' head coach.

Gregg Popovich has become one of the most interesting characters around the NBA over the years. Whether it's his short-winded answers to reporters or his uncomfortable interviews in television appearances, he's got a knack for effectively messing with the media in whatever form he pleases.

But tonight's pre-game interview was as short — and as strange — as any you'll encounter with the four-time NBA champion.

With Tony Parker out for roughly a month with a grade-2 sprain of his left ankle, tension is undoubtedly high for a team clinging to the best record in the West. But even with that in mind, tonight's Pop scrum was just ... weird.

After finding out Cory Joseph will be Parker's replacement in the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Detroit Pistons, randomness began.

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News began to ask the reigning Coach of the Year a question.

Monroe: "What kind of a challenge does —"

Pop: "It'll be a challenge without Tony. But everybody's got to step up. Nobody else cares. You've got to play the games, and so you don't think about it. You do what you do and you go compete."

Monroe: "I was actually going to ask you what kind of challenge Greg Monroe presents..."

Pop: "Mary Cain. Keep your eye on Mary Cain."

Popovich then turned, asked if anyone had another question as he simultaneously reached for the door handle to his office, and wished everyone a good night before a response was made. Oh, Pop. You only become better as the drama mounts. If anyone has any idea how Mary Cain (if that's actually what he said) and Greg Monroe relate, please let us at Pounding the Rock know.

Regardless, we're finally going to see what Cory Joseph can do, it seems. Without Parker in the mix for the foreseeable future, the young point guard from the University of Texas has a chance to make his mark in the stead of his All-Star teammate.

Stay tuned over the next four weeks, too. Pop might just get weirder.

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