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Gregg Popovich jokingly calls his assistant coaches a "bunch of cowards"

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Despite a minutes restriction, Manu Ginobili somehow convinced the assistant coaches to let him play. Pop was not impressed.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Popovich is the master of making sure his aging stars are ready for postseason play. Often, that involves sitting them on the tail end of back-to-backs, or by limiting their minutes overall.

Last night, Manu Ginobili was not supposed to play, but somehow convinced the Spurs' assistant coaches to let him.

From the NY Post:

After Ginobili played Sunday, Popovich was intent on sitting him against the Knicks. Here's their conversation.

"Today's a back-to-back and you're not going to play."

"Pop, I have to play."

"No, remember we talked about it?"

"No, I don't remember exactly."

So Popovich said he sent the veteran to discuss the matter with his six assistant coaches.

"The meeting's over and he's playing tonight. So we have a bunch of cowards for assistants and Manu runs the program," Popovich said. "But I am in charge of minutes."

Ginobili played 17 minutes and scored seven points.

And from Spurs beat writer Jeff McDonald:

Love you Pop. Never change.