Long time San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich took the time to go through the philosophy system of his team for a small audience in Berlin. It’s a very good watch for those interested in the Spurs, coaching or even just basketball.
Pop revealed a lot of secrets in sharing his basics. He says that he believes coaching a winning team is more than just putting together “plays.” The Spurs coach says that it all starts with character. He says character allows for equal treatment across the roster. Tim Duncan isn’t treated differently than anybody else. Pop says that he prefers foreign players for the Spurs because they are more skilled and less selfish. When he first started coaching, he didn’t like how Americans played at that time.
Pop said that the bench is extremely important to the team’s success. He plays his bench a lot because the season is too long for the starters to hold it down the entire time.
Pop goes through concepts like player timeouts and why his team doesn’t talk about winning or setting goals.
The entire video is available here.
Pop’s a five time NBA champion with the Spurs and he’s won the coach of the year honor three times. The Spurs have consistently been good since Pop’s tenure began and he’s kept mostly the same roster together for years with little sign of diminishing.
Pop’s coaching system has always correlated with winning and he does things a lot differently than most other coaches. For example, he hasn’t committed to a regular shootaround schedule in “two decades.” He says they are a waste of time that are forced upon young and unexperienced coaches.
“I just think it was the modus operandi for every organization. It was habit. It was what everyone did. If you didn’t do it, you were recalcitrant or you weren’t doing your job,” Popovich said. “Some owners would look and say ‘Why aren’t you doing a shootaround?’ If you were a young coach, you have to have a shootaround because you’re doing what you have to do. And, basically, half of them are total crap – a total waste of time.
“… In general, shootarounds could be kaputskied.”