San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich might seem like a grouch, but it turns out that he likes everybody. Or at least he claims that is the case.
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LeBron James seemed to suggest that the Spurs have an open disdain for the Miami Heat, something that would have a bearing on the 2014 NBA Finals. When asked if he dislikes the Heat, Popovich wasn’t impressed (as quoted in the San Antonio-Express News):
"“I like everybody. Come on. This is silly.”"
Pop might not speak for everybody, however. Veteran guard Manu Ginobili described something like dislike for the Heat after facing them in the finals last year:
"“(The animosity) grows on you. It’s such challenge, you want to beat (the other team) so bad, you start to grow that challenge. In some way, it’s a sort of dislike.”"
I suppose the Heat could use that as motivation, but to me it reads like the worst bulletin board material ever.
Popovich speaks for the voice of reason here. This is silly. There’s no reason for these teams to beef. They played a good, tightly contested series last year. They will likely do the same this year. And while the Spurs went down in heartbreaking fashion last time, there’s really no reason to have a problem with the Heat other than wanting to beat them.
Tim Duncan sort of provided motivation by saying that the Spurs would win this time. Meh. There’s nothing to see here, other than the fact that Popovich says he likes everybody.
That’s the big takeaway before Game One.