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Why were Duncan, Ginobili and Parker trying to cheer up Gregg Popovich?

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Something happened in the second half of the Spurs win over the Bulls on Sunday, and instead of getting angry at his players, it seems the Gregg Popovich got mad at himself. And then this happened.

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The relationship between Gregg Popovich and his players is a complex and fascinating one. It's impressive how Pop has earned the right to be as hard on his stars as Pop is, while ensuring that the foundation of each boss-employee partnership is sound. And how sound are those connections? Take a look at this video from the second half of Sunday's Spurs vs. Bulls game and see for yourself.

Besides the 15 pats (most on the back, but one to the behind and three to the ribs) multiple shoulder squeezes, and general conciliatory body language, there's an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement being poured out on Gregg Popovich from Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. I have no idea what happened to bring all this on, but it seems like Pop got upset with himself over something he did or said, and all of the Big Three made sure that he knew there were no hard feelings.

It's not just the fact that this happened that I find significant, it's how long it goes on. This video is 14 seconds long, but the four men were discussing the situation before the clip, and Manu stays with Pop even after Tim and Tony walk back onto the court (sharing a look between them that speaks volumes).

I might not be able to expect any official explanation from the organization as to what happened to bring this about, but it's obvious that the guys were willing to take great pains to ensure that Pop knew they were alright with it, and that he should be ready to put it behind him.

Just add it to the list of things that make me wish I could be a fly on the wall of the Spurs locker room.