LeBron Jаmes Pаys Reѕpect To Sрurs Coаch Gregg Poрovich

LeBron James showed some love to Gregg Popovich after the Lakers beat the Spurs.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the San Antonio Spurs 123-118 on Friday night to improve to 31-27 on the season. It was the 43rd time that James had faced off against Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in the regular season, and he showed him some love afterward.

“Love you Pop!”


James has always been very respectful toward Popovich. The 39-year-old admires not only his coaching prowess but also how great of a human being he is. Prior to posting this, LeBron, who had 30 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, and 1 steal against the Spurs, also showered praise on Popovich during his postgame interview on the court.



“It’s just the utmost respect, one of the greatest coaches of all time but more importantly, one of the best people of all time that I’ve ever been around,” James said. “I love everything about Coach Pop and to be able to share the floor with him, to be able to talk to him and have a friendship that we have, it’s very special to me.”

 

(starts at 0:53 mark):


It’s great to see that these all-time greats have grown so close, especially as they have had so many epic showdowns over the years. It was Popovich and the Spurs whom James faced in his first-ever NBA Finals in 2007, and they swept him.

LeBron would face off against them again in 2013 when he was with the Miami Heat and gained some revenge when they won an epic series in seven games. The two sides would meet again the following year, but the Spurs would win the rematch comfortably in five games.

In many ways, it was Popovich and the Spurs who pushed LeBron to be the player he is today. They gave him so much trouble earlier in his career that he had to improve all facets of his game in order to get the better of them.

 


LeBron does it routinely now, as he has won nine of his last 12 games against the Spurs. San Antonio not being the force it once was, certainly helps, as the loss to the Lakers dropped them to 11-46 on the season.


Despite Popovich and Victor Wembanyama’s best efforts, the Spurs have remained rooted to the foot of the table in the West. There is hope, though, that in a few years, they’ll become a force with Wembanyama leading the way, and I would love to see one final playoff series between LeBron and Popovich.

LeBron James’ Haters Angered Gregg Popovich

The love and admiration are very much mutual when it comes to these two. Popovich even admitted LeBrons’ haters made him angry,

“It used to anger me when he first came in. If he made a pass, somebody said, ‘He should’ve shot it.’ If he shot the ball, it was, ‘He should’ve passed it.’ It really would anger me. They would just deal with the negative. It was a fake negative, in a way. The guy was doing everything great and handling himself great. Young kid with all of that attention and doing what he was doing. I just thought he was wonderful. It would just annoy me. Whenever I would be around him or whenever I had the chance, I would say it publicly. ‘Why don’t you guys talk to him’ and ‘He did this; he did that.’ That’s what I remember the most–the way he handled himself in the middle of all of that. All of us, we don’t know what is to have that kind of attention and those kinds of demands. For something like him, I can’t even fathom. It was super.”



Not many would have handled themselves as well as LeBron has with all the attention that has been on him. It is just one of the many things that Popovich admires him for, and he wishes others would as well.



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