San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has long been known for being somewhat intractable, though that reputation can only be banked on for so much. For one, the team doesn’t really tend to acquire players that would seem to clash with the longtime Spurs coach and executive. Secondly, Pop has a way of getting through to guys. There aren’t a lot of players that walk away from the Spurs on the heels of a few team-induced suspensions or contract battles. Most tend to enjoy their experience, Jackie Butler notwithstanding, and the constant long playoff runs no doubt help.
It’s those playoff runs that lead to national and international TV exposure, even for those that have to get up in the wee hours to watch games. The typical NBA playoff game tips off at three in the morning in Israel, which makes this hip-hop tribute from the group Arik Henig and X Beautiful all the more impressive:
Coach Pop and Stephen Jackson’s response is even more inspired. Popovich and Jackson, a fellow hip-hoppist, locked horns in a fake practice fight that turned into hip hop showdown, as reported by Spurs Report’s Dan McCarney, who quotes Jackson:
“He was showing some film of me messing up, getting on me real hard. I was like, ‘You know what Pop, I don’t even want to play basketball. I’d rather do this. Kick it!’ And they played two of my videos. And Pop was like, ‘You know what? Don’t worry about it Jack. I got my own video.’ It was pretty cool.”
Boris Diaw deemed the stunt “hilarious” while noted music aficionado Matt Bonner also gave his seal of approval.
McCarney goes on to point out that the person that can charitably described as the “weird old dude” growling his way through the song’s “he wants a nasty game” hook is Arik Henig, an Israeli television producer and NBA obsessive.
Popovich was unavailable for comment, to busy laughing himself in hysterics at the thought of Phil Jackson coaching the Brooklyn Nets.