San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Marco Belinelli praises Gregg Popovich’s coaching

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 20: Marco Belinelli #3 of the Atlanta Hawks after the game with Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs on November 20, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 20: Marco Belinelli #3 of the Atlanta Hawks after the game with Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs on November 20, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Prior to Monday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, former San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli spoke well of head coach Gregg Popovich.

On Monday night, when the San Antonio Spurs faced the Atlanta Hawks, it wasn’t only a reunion for Dewayne Dedmon but Marco Belinelli — even if he last played for the Silver and Black in 2015. The Italian shooting guard had 11 points on 4-for-13 shooting in the loss, 96-85.

Belinelli played from 2013-15 for the Spurs — playing a part on the 2014 NBA Championship team. He left after the second season for the Sacramento Kings, along with playing one season on the Charlotte Hornets, before an offseason trade that brought him to Atlanta.

Before this, Belinelli forged a relationship with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, which the former cherishes to this day. He spoke about this to Fox Sports, prior to Monday’s game, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitutionmost notably calling Popovich “an amazing person.”

“Not a lot of people know Pop out of the court and he’s an amazing person,” Belinelli said to Fox Sports. “He’s like a dad. Every time he’s ready to help you, he’s really close to you and I really have a great relationship with him.”

Marco Belinelli talks about being coached by Gregg Popovich. pic.twitter.com/7RgxLmIlTv

— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) November 21, 2017

Popovich and Belinelli also met up after the game. The Spurs recounted it on Instagram:

Always good to see @mbeli21! #ThisIsWhyWePlay

A post shared by San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) on Nov 20, 2017 at 8:28pm PST

These were kind words from Belinelli, who clearly enjoyed playing for the five-time coaching champion in San Antonio. It was arguably the 31-year-old’s best two-year stint, as well, with 10.4 points on 46 percent shooting and 40.5 percent from behind the arc. Along with the title in 2014, it made for a successful run in the Alamo City.

Since then, Belinelli has not played in the postseason for the Kings or Hornets. With the way the 2017-18 Hawks have faired, it might mark three consecutive seasons of not making the playoffs for the 2007 NBA Draft pick.

Next: Top 25 players in Spurs history

The Spurs and Hawks won’t play each other until Jan. 15, 2018. This will take place at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA.

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