San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has attacked Donald Trump relentlessly.
The coach somehow found time in his schedule to reach out to the far-left publication The Nation unprovoked and rip Trump.
While the coach was on his political soapbox, his team suffered, and the consequences are about to be severe.
Popovich’s Spurs are on the cusp of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
The team is currently in the playoffs, but they’re trending in the wrong direction as other teams are furiously nipping at their heels.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich nodded to acknowledge the challenges his injury-riddled squad has faced in the wake of dropping four in a row at home for the first time in 16 years.
At a time when the Spurs typically start formulating plans for resting players for the postseason, they find themselves still without their best player in Kawhi Leonard and sputtering on fumes with no R&R on the horizon, as they fight to keep pace in the midst of a competitive eight-team race for the last six playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Halfway through the season we were aiming for the third spot,” veteran guard Manu Ginobili said. “Now we are aiming for the playoffs.”
On Wednesday, Leonard spoke to the media for the first time since Jan. 13, saying he expects to return “soon” from the quadriceps tendinopathy that has kept him out of all but nine games this season, but also cautioned, “I don’t have a set date right now.” So the Spurs wait.
Duncan called it quits two years ago. Ginobili is 40. Parker now comes off the bench and still isn’t 100 percent after suffering a ruptured left quadriceps tendon last season in the conference semifinals.
So as the season advances, it’s no surprise Popovich thinks his squad is running out of gas. The team’s late-game performances since Feb. 1 indicate as much.
Popovich knows the numbers well and laughed when a reporter mentioned San Antonio still ranks No. 2 in the NBA in defensive efficiency for the season.
“That’s really a joke, isn’t it? There should be a lot of people embarrassed that we’re No. 2 as bad as we’ve been in the fourth quarters of the last 11 games,” Popovich said. “Our problem has been our defensive breakdowns in fourth quarters. That’s been obvious. We haven’t shot it well. That’s gonna happen now and then. But you can’t make the defensive errors if you’re not going to score. That’s really been our problem more than anything.
“Like Tony Soprano says, ‘What are you gonna do?'” forward Kyle Anderson jokingly asked.
Answers aren’t aplenty, after all.
San Antonio closes out the season with eight of its final 18 games on the road, including a brutal three-game stretch starting at Golden State, followed by matchups at Oklahoma City and Houston. The Spurs own a record of 14-19 on the road, which includes a mark of just 3-14 against teams with records of .500 or better. The club could finish with a road record below .500 for the first time since the 1996-97 season, which coincidentally was the season second-year point guard Dejounte Murray was born.
Although injuries have been the main culprit for the Spurs’ struggles, Popovich’s teams have shown resilience in the past with key players missing significant time.
That chemistry simply isn’t there this season.
Leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge admitted earlier this year he had demanded a trade before eventually cooling off, and star player Kawhi Leonard was recently at loggerheads with the team; there was speculation he refused to return this year and sought to move to another team.
Whatever San Antonio’s issues are, Popovich’s case of Trump Derangement Syndrome isn’t helping.