After his media availability began with a couple of quick questions about the returns of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, a reporter asked Gregg Popovich for his perspective on “this strange time in American culture when sports and politics are intertwined” and for the next twelve minutes or so, any talk of the Spurs and San Antonio basketball was off the menu.
You’ve probably already heard or read some excerpts of Pop’s answer. (I’ve included a video of the entire presser below, so you so you can judge it for yourself in its full context.) ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz wrote a pretty involved examination of it, where it comes from, and what it means to the Spurs to have a coach like Pop.
What I want to concentrate on is a single section of his talk that came just shy of nine-and-a-half minutes in, and what it means to me, this site, and perhaps Spurs fans as a whole:
...we can decide that the institutions of our country are more important, that people are more important, that the decent America that we all thought we had and we want is more important, and get down to the business at the grassroots level and do what we have to do.
This is an echo of what I want PtR to be. A place where people are treated decently regardless of their anything. It’s the way that I expect £ers to treat fans of other teams who visit our humble blog, and it’s the way I want us to treat our fellow Spurs fans who don’t share our views about any non-basketball topic that may arise. We don’t make things better by beating others down, but by working together.
I don’t talk about my political views on Pounding the Rock for many reasons, but mostly because I want all Spurs fans to feel welcome here. I’ve always wanted this site to be a place where differences could be put aside in order to focus on things we agree on. I think that finding common ground is an important skill to have in any age — but even more so in a country that seems to be as divided as it has been in my lifetime.
The way you treat those around you says a lot about you. Let’s treat each other with respect and love -- the way we would like others to treat us. That’s the way I live my life, and it’s the way I want my fellow Pounders to treat each other.
More on the rest of the Spurs Media Day happenings, and Pop’s thoughts on the team he happens to coach, as the week continues.