As a society, let's stop blaming Gregg Popovich for everything
By Josh Paredes
After Dejounte Murray made some out-of-pocket comments about the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, fans had different ways of reacting.
Some were instantly offended and felt betrayed by their team's freshest All-Star turning a troll's comments into what appeared to be an attack on the franchise. Others just dismissed the replies as Dejounte being Dejounte and thought we shouldn't take it so seriously. After all, he has a long history of tweeting something he probably shouldn't only to delete it a minute later.
As I wrote in my opinion piece following the comments, there are many equally valid ways Spurs fans have a right to feel about Murray. That said, not everyone on Twitter has opinions based on reality. Shocking, I know. While I'm not here to tell people how to think, I get paid to share my own opinions, and it's time to do just that.
We must stop trying to pin everything on Coach Popovich
For anyone who might've missed Murray's main comment that caused a stir, here's how the exchange went.
Random commenter: "Good luck getting to the 2nd round. At least we got the picks, and we're building around Keldon."
Dejounte: "The way that system is set up, you're going to be losing for the next 15 years! The problem is bigger than basketball."
The thing about Murray's adventures on social media is he loves to be vague and non-specific. As such, many interpret his messages in different ways. One way that makes absolutely no sense in this case, however, is to believe he's talking about Coach Gregg Popovich.
There's just no basis in reality for such a claim. Taking an inconsistent performer in Lonnie Walker and making his mediocre growth Popovich's fault is just a massive stretch.
The three All-Star appearances LaMarcus Aldridge made in San Antonio also might have something to say about the "never prospered" argument. I suppose Coach Pop is to blame for father time catching up to LaMarcus as well?
Then there was this comment, implying we should all take the word of a guy who spent two years in San Antonio above all.
Look, I loved Jonathon Simmons as much as the next guy, but I'm not about to take his opinion over guys like Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, or Tony Parker. The bottom line is when players are of high quality character, they never have anything bad to say about Popovich. We saw it with the Big Three. We saw it with LaMarcus. We saw it with DeMar DeRozan.
Am I going to sit here and say Popovich can never do wrong and never has harmed a soul? Of course not. But there's a reason hundreds of world class people around the league and beyond have had glowing remarks about him over the past 20-plus years.
People have agendas for other reasons
Throughout my time covering the Spurs, I've increasingly found a common thread among haters of Coach Pop, and let's just say it has nothing to do with basketball.
I'm sure there are other reasons some fans have for wanting Popovich to depart, but I'll just say almost every time I've come across someone being unnecessarily angry at the legendary coach, I find out they fall exactly opposite of him politically.
People will always find ways to push their agendas, but in the case of that subset of people, all I can do is shake my head and laugh. If you think he doesn't play his rookies enough or he's out of touch with the X's and O's? Ok, I might disagree, but I at least respect that opinion.
It's when we try to pin completely unrelated things on the coach that you start to lose me. I think we can be more creative than that.