Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has always been a stickler for defense. If a player misses an assignment or rotation: boom! He’s out. If his team gets lazy on that end, angry timeout time. Even though Pop has had to exercise some patience with the year’s team due a lack of experience in his system and sudden dearth of defensive-minded players, he still expects the effort to be there.
However, there will always be that one moment that will live in infamy, that one time that Spurs fans may never see again and should cherish while it lasts. It was that time when Coach Pop did not want his team to play defense. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s true. See for yourself:
The time that Pop didn’t want his team to play defense. pic.twitter.com/IprREIkYUz— J.R. Wilco (@jollyrogerwilco) April 11, 2019
Poor Drew Eubanks. As Dirk Nowitzki sets up for the final shot of his career, Pop — animated as ever — emphatically motions for him to back off, but he doesn’t notice because he’s too focused on actually doing his job. He’s playing his very last minute of the season (two-way players cannot participate in the playoffs) and not only trying to show that at the bare minimum the second year of his contract should be exercised, but possibly even that he has what it takes to be an NBA player.
Instead, his season will end with Pop yelling at him for doing what 99.999999....% of the time he should be doing: playing defense. Fortunately for him, Dirk made the shot to save him from Pop’s wrath (and honestly making it even better), and he appreciated it.