The San Antonio Spurs’ season on Thursday finally came to an end, and for the first time since 1997, they will not be part of the playoffs. Gregg Popovich may be proud of the franchise’s accomplishment, but it’s not something he wants to focus on.
The longtime Spurs head coach was asked after the team’s 118-112 loss to Utah on Thursday about the playoff streak ending. He decided to mess with reporters about it.
“The streak? What are you talking about? … Did you talk about the streak at all before it ended? Or was this important when it ended?” he asked, seeming like he was annoyed with the reporters. Then he broke down, saying, “I’m just screwing with you.”
Popovich says his focus is on the future, not the past, and that the streak ending is “fake news.”
“It means a lot to a lot of people, but I don’t dwell a lot on the past. What’s important is the moment; looking to the past doesn’t do much good,” he said.
“I could care less about (streaks). I am thrilled about the way they played here.”
The Spurs arrived in Orlando knowing they were a long shot to make it into the playoffs. They had a good showing in the resumption, posting a 5-3 record, but it wasn’t enough. Players like Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl got a chance to showcase their skills, while young players like Derrick White and Dejounte Murray also had nice flashes.
The West remains a tough conference, and it’s hard to see San Antonio being able to compete with the top teams any time in the near future, but that won’t keep them from continuing to develop. Popovich also plans to continue coaching next season. The 71-year-old previously said he is taking things year-to-year.