Gregg Popovich has had success for a long time in the NBA and did so with a style that is very much different than what teams are having success with today. The new three-pointing shooting dominant NBA has become a joy to witness, but not according to Pop (via NBA.com):
“Now you look at a stat sheet after a game and the first thing you look at is the threes. If you made threes and the other team didn’t, you win. You don’t even look at the rebounds or the turnovers or how much transition D was involved. You don’t even care. That’s how much an impact the three-point shot has and it’s evidenced by how everybody plays.”
“I hate it, but I always have,” “I’ve hated the three for 20 years. That’s why I make a joke all the time (and say) if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a four-point play. Because if everybody likes the three, they’ll really like the four. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-point play. It will be great. There’s no basketball anymore, there’s no beauty in it. It’s pretty boring. But it is what it is and you need to work with it.”
This take may make the old school basketball fans smile and cheer, but it is actually an awful take. Make no mistake about it, these quotes saying there is “no beauty” in the game stems from Popovich not being able to handle the fact the game has passed his style of perfecting “rebounds, turnovers, and transition D” by. This take is no different than a football coach who relied on running throwing a fit about the increased amount of passes thrown.
He also called the new NBA “boring.” Uh, what? The way the game has been played as of late has been the most fun it has even been played at. The three-point shooting has made the game a spectacle with non-stop action and excellence. If you go to the park now, everyone is trying to show off their shooting abilities. Why? Because it is fun. And who is Popovich to say what is boring? The Spurs have been universally recognized as the most boring dynasty in basketball of all-time. The Spurs are in large part why the 2003 and 2007 NBA Finals were the only two Finals to average less than 10 million viewers between 2000-2018.
It also has to be wondered if the timing of this has anything to do with the Spurs currently being 29th in three-point field goals made per game as they sit with a losing record.