Thursday, November 13, 2008

A coach's influence beyond basketball

Interesting article in SI last week about the culture of the Spurs organization and what differentiates it from other franchises in the league. The Spurs have gone "a sustained period with unchanged core principles and principals."

Coach Gregg Popovich has a lot to do with the unique culture of the Spurs. Pops' influence extends way beyond basketball, as described by Roger Mason (pictured here with Coach Popovich), who signed with SA in July after stints with CHI, TOR, and WAS:

"The most impressive thing that I've seen Pop do is, before the election, he had us watch a video on the civil rights movement. For me, you know he has the X's and O's and that he's a great coach, but stuff like that, you don't see that.

It was Dr. King. It was a bunch of current events on the struggles that a lot of African-Americans went through in the civil rights movement. It completely threw me off. But when I went home and reflected on it, I was like, Man, he's a special guy.''