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Spurs' Gregg Popovich not excited about Game 7, calls it 'torture'

June 20, 2013|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich didn't express excitement before his San Antonio team tipped off against the Miami Heat for Game 7, in fact, he called it "torture."
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich didn't express excitement before his… (Brendan Smialowski / Getty…)

MIAMI -- A Game 7 in the NBA Finals comes around only once in a while, so Gregg Popovich must be thoroughly enjoying himself.

"It's torture," the curmudgeonly San Antonio coach said an hour before Thursday's tip-off against Miami. "It's hard to appreciate or enjoy torture."

The typically tight-lipped Popovich was highly transparent, even insightful, in his pregame interview with reporters, acknowledging that the Spurs needed to get back up after their stunning 103-100 overtime loss in Game 6.

"Just filling the cup up again, basically," he said. "That was a devastating loss. To say anything less than that would be disingenuous. One rebound or the next rebound or make a free throw and the game is over. That's a pretty devastating situation.

"So from the minute we left the arena it was about mental recovery more than anything ... getting to the point where you slap yourself and you don't cry about it and pity yourself and move on and realize that somehow or other you earned two chances to win one game to be NBA champions. That's pretty cool to have that opportunity."

Popovich even stopped an NBA official from ending the usually brief Q&A session, a highly unusual step for a man who had distanced himself from the media in the Finals. It's true. Popovich volunteered to field more questions.

"I have more time. The busier I am before the game, the less I'll worry," he said. "Just keep rolling."

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