Spurs coach Gregg Popovich unleashed a scathing commentary on President Donald Trump, taking the spurs to him in calling him everything from a demagogue to a coward.
Before the Spurs fell 139-120 to the Nets on Friday night at Barclays Center, Popovich reacted to president Trump saying that he had to overcome an Obama-era FDA “rule” to more quickly provide tests for the Coronavirus, something many experts say is false.
“It was our president blaming Barack Obama for the fact we don’t have the kits we need right now. Seriously, I think he thinks Barack Obama tripped Mary Decker,” Popovich said sarcastically, referring to the U.S. middle-distance runner who fell in the 3,000 meters at the 1984 Olympics.
Popovich also said he’s proud of the athletes who have protested these past few years.
“It starts with [Colin] Kaepernick kneeling and the situation with the former owner of the Clippers [Donald Sterling],” he said. “And players made their feelings known not going to the White House. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just being flippant or disrespectful. Weak people who’re basically demagogues at heart make those kinds of arguments. If you protest something then you’re [called] disloyal, you’re unpatriotic.”
It’s not the first time Popovich has pointed out inaccurate statements by President Trump, or taken his leadership to task. It likely won’t be the last.
“Seriously, so you know if it affects him personally in a financial or political way and it’s positive, he’ll tout about it and he’ll brag about it forever. But if it goes against him whether it’s a person or an organization, he’ll go after it,” Popovich said. “We all know why: Because he’s a coward.”
Chris Chiozza has gone from unused two-way player to bright spot at light-speed, kind of like how he plays.
He had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists in 21:50 against the Spurs. After mustering just seven points in 30 minutes since signing two months ago, he has poured in 35 points in the past three games, giving the Nets energy and backcourt help with Garrett Temple hurt.
“I’m just trying to take advantage of every opportunity that I have. I’m not worried too much about when I’m going to have my opportunity. I’m just out there trying to play for my teammates, do what I can to help in whatever way that is,” Chiozza said.
With the Nets down 78-59 with 3:45 left in the third quarter Tuesday in Boston, Chiozza came on and was a plus-29 the rest of the way to help the Nets to an OT comeback. Now he’s fighting his way into Kenny Atkinson’s plans.
“With GT out we needed some guard play, and I was intrigued from Day 1,” the coach said. “Obviously the Boston game he really opened some eyes, but even before that. … I’d flick on League Pass like who was this kid, pressuring the ball, making passes?
“Fantastic job by [GM] Sean [Marks] getting him in a Nets uniform, because we were very intrigued. It’s nice to see we can really have something there. He’s got pure point guard skills. And I’ve been really pleased with his defense.”
Atkinson started Wilson Chandler and brought Taurean Prince off the bench for the first time this season.