"We Don't Need It All:" Spurs' Coach, Gregg Popovich, Explains Why He Gives Back
"Because we're rich as hell...and you’re an ass if you don’t give it.”
As the season of giving comes to an end, ESPN asked Spurs coach Gregg Popovich why philanthropy is highlighted by himself and his franchise, to which Pop answered in a way only Pop could.
“Because we’re rich as hell,” he stated bluntly. “And we don’t need it all and other people need it. Then you’re an ass if you don’t give it.” And with his own charitable contributions, the sentiments that came before Tuesday’s (Dec. 5) game against the Brooklyn Nets, are not just something the legendary coach projects, but also embodies.
While a lot of Popovich’s acts of kindness are known, he also chooses to keep some of his charitable contributions under wraps. Reportedly, Pop donated to the relief effort of his retired star player, Tim Duncan, in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which ravished the U.S. Virgin Island. (where Duncan was born) By doing so it proves that the contribution – which is reported as “substantial” – are things Popovich sees as an obligation to humanity rather than means to boast.
Popovich’s dedication to societal improvement isn’t limited to just charity and disaster relief. On several occasions, the NBA coach has contributed to social commentary in ways that shows his understanding of the world the majority of his players live in. This February, in an interview with the Express-News, Popovich described racism as a “national sin” while voicing his support of athletes protesting the national anthem as “unsurprisingly wise.”
By highlighting philanthropy as well as using his brashly dry approach to media in a way that supports more than 74 percent of the NBA, Popovich is showcasing that even as the most tenured coach in all of professional sports, it takes more than in-game contributions to be “great.”