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Zach Collins sheds light on Pop and the Spurs culture

The Spurs center peeled the curtain back just enough to give the listening audience a view into PATFO’s culture

NBA: San Antonio Spurs-Media Day
This may be Zach Collins’ resting face as his Spurs’ teammates get tested this season
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Starting big man Zach Collins recently joined retired frontcourt luminaries Channing Frye (former Suns center), Richard Jefferson (former Spur and Nets forward), and Allie Clifton on their Road Trippin’ podcast to go through a handful of topics relevant to eager San Antonio fans.

Though the podcast episode is worth listening to in its entirety, there were some parts of it that stood out - especially with the looming regular season rapidly approaching.

  • Coming out of the gate, Wemby’s new enforcer was hilariously rewarded the title of “Best Hair” of all the podcast hosts. [00:55 - 02:00]
  • Collins shilled for the upcoming San Antonio / Dallas tilt on Wednesday, October 25 as the must-see opening week matchup to watch “(be)cause of Wemby for sure.” [03:00 - 04:00]
  • On the Spurs culture that differentiates themselves from the other franchises, Collins noted that “Pop just does stuff differently”, and when asked to expand on it, he added that “I’ve been impressed with the medical staff... we got people that bridge the gap between the weight room, the rehab process, and the court - and that’s specifically their job.” [06:15 - 08:10]
  • A spirited and lively discussion then ensued on the updated Player Participation Policy, with Frye laughingly pointing out that neither the Spurs (zero All-Stars) nor the defending champion Nuggets (one obvious All-Star) would have the two eligible star players where resting them could violate the new policy. When it came to his injury history, Collins asserted “I just want to play. I missed those two years (in Portland). I got a lot of time to make-up” - starting a preference to play through soreness over losing rhythm optimized only during in-game action [08:15 - 20:40]
  • When probed about a prediction for the team this season, Collins noted “We were historically bad at one point last season... I think if we can be between a top 15 and top 20 defense, I think we can definitely get into the playoffs.” [20:50 - 24:15]
  • When asked by Clifton for the one piece of advice, that he would dole out to younger players, Collins replied “Don’t take it personal... He does say some crazy stuff... It all comes out of a place of love.” This response got Jefferson really going, as he then closed out with a story that will resonate with fans across generations; recalling Pop “was so outlandish with his outbursts.” The erstwhile forward shared a story where “Gary (Neal) goes in there ... shoots two <expletive> shots. Pop comes down to the end of the bench and starts yelling at me. He goes ‘ you see those <expletive> shots by Gary? I could put you in but you’d probably do the same <expletive> thing!’; and then walks off.” It turned out, after a discussion between the teammates, that he was doing the same thing to Neal about Jefferson! [26:15 - 29:45]

We have finally reached the onset of preseason Spurs action, Pounders! Hoping that you all are gearing up towards one of the more intriguing seasons in recent memory.