I found this utterly fascinating. It's two NBA coaches separately commenting about about the recent elections.
Now, I know that NBA coaches are not the ultimate source of political analysis. Nor the beginning point. But I tend to expect sports coaches to generally be conservative. I'm not quite sure why, but it's perhaps because they're authority figures in a structured environment and that tends to be a core foundation of conservative belief. It may well be a wrong assumption. Or -- for all I know, it's a correct assumption, and these are outliers. Regardless, these two commentaries are fascinating.
One reason they're fascinating is because they're so low-key and thoughtful. The word often used to describe them is rant or harangue. But those are generally used to described something loud and out of control. These are anything but that. Quiet, pensive and very measured. Another reason the first one is so especially fascinating is because of who it is.
Gregg Popovich is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs and probably considered the dean of NBA coaches, the most respected in the league. He is also easily the most taciturn and snarkiest. Watching interviews with him during games is almost painful. He clearly is disdainful of being forced by the league to have to do it, and scornful of most questions he gets. Occasionally, if he likes the reporter, he can be playfully charming. But usually, he'll give as short and unhelpful and answer as possible. It tends to be almost the same in his post-game interviews. That said, he is also blunt and gives his honest, direct feeling.
All of which is what makes this interview so remarkable.
He's carefully asked a question by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News about the election, without directly saying that, no doubt knowing that he's walking on eggshells with Gregg Popvovich who could possibly want nothing to do with it and even cut the interview short. And Popovich -- being Popovich -- does start off a bit snarky and challenging to the reporter about what he's getting at. But after it's all clarified, the coach begins to talk -- hesitantly and carefully - even saying that he's still formulating his thoughts about it all. Yet for all his "still formulating his thoughts" and all his taciturn ways and normal one sentence answers...he goe on for almost five minutes. Even to the point (around the 4:30 mark) when he pauses, and the reporter thinks he's finished and jumps in -- and Popovich actually cuts him off and says, "I'm not done," and continues on further.
The other comments come from Stan Van Gundy, coach of the Detroit Pistons He's always been reasonably loquacious, but seen more as a "workingman" type of coach. Yet he too goes off on an eloquent, thoughtful critique.
There actually are other coaches and sports figures who have been asked not only about their thoughts of the election, but also specifically of what these two said. The most notably critical of the results is Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors. But Popovich and Van Gundy stand out, for the deliberate contemplation and restrained seething of their answer..
Leave a Reply.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor