Gregg Popovich's gold medal is the ultimate response
Shout from the rooftops how the 2019 FIBA team crashed and burned all you want. Say he was only good because he had Tim Duncan. The facts remain: Gregg Popovich has now won Olympic gold with the United States in his first tenure as head coach. He's also 26 wins away from being the NBA's all-time winningest coach. Of the top four coaches with the most wins, he's the only one that needed fewer than 2,000 games to get there.
Vardon's pettiness has ranged from minor to unprofessional at times, and it certainly didn't go unnoticed by Spurs fans.
Have I ever been scolded at my job or in my personal life? Sure, but I've taken it on the chin and made sure to better myself so it wouldn't happen again. Apparently, guys like Vardon don't have the same approach.
Honestly, I don't think he even did anything wrong in the original press conference. He asked a question of Damian Lillard that Coach Pop took offense to, sure. But it seemed like Pop may have taken the spirit of the question the wrong way. Nevertheless, Joe was able to express his side of the story later with Dan Patrick, and that should've been the end of that.
Instead, I don't think there's any doubt that Pop's heated response to Joe set him off on a bit of a crusade. You could immediately see the cheap shots and unnecessary comments increase in both his tweets and his behind-the-paywall articles.
It's amazing how Team USA was able to pull things together despite Coach Pop's "San Antonio offense", isn't it, Joe? They really put on a brave face despite "not enjoying playing in his system", didn't they?
If you were able to watch For Ball and Country like I was, you'd have seen just how much winning a gold medal meant to Popovich, who narrowly missed out on competing for Team USA in 1972. "To this day, I got this thing in my head that bothers me more than any loss I've ever had in the NBA. It just bugs the hell out of me," he said in the documentary series about the 2004 Olympic bronze finish.
Well just as people tried to tear him down during early struggles (I'm also looking at guys like you, Skip Bayless and Kendrick Perkins), he needs to be praised for what he accomplished. By the way, a quick note on Perkins. I was originally going to include him in this for garbage tweets like this, but then I realized I don't really respect him enough to give him the satisfaction. Kendrick quickly realized his inability to form coherent sentences was a severe drawback but being controversial gained him attention. This is the most he'll get from me.
Back to Coach Pop. He lost players to COVID-19, hardly had any practice time with his group, and had key members fly in last-minute before the Olympics. Through it all, he came out on top of the world and, like his superstar pupil Tim Duncan, will never give a second thought to those who so quickly tried to take him down.
Gregg Popovich: 5 NBA titles, 3 Coach of the Year awards, and an Olympic gold medal. Not bad for a man players don't enjoy playing for.