Spurs coach Gregg Popovich doesn't bite on hardly any questions about basketball, unless you can steer him away from topics such as what growth he has seen from the Wizards' John Wall and Bradley Beal or his new addition LaMarcus Aldridge.
"How do we prepare," Popovich said, then paused for a long time before continuing. "I really don't know how to answer that question. What would you like to hear? We did drills before we came or we sought counsel from a yogi? You just go play the game. It's basketball. We'll try our best go guard them. Sometimes they'll score. Sometimes they won't."
Wall and Beal have had strong starts to the season as the Wizards are 2-1 entering tonight's game vs. San Antonio (CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com and NBC Sports Live Extra, 6:30 p.m. ET).
Doesn't matter to Popovich. "I haven't watched them," he said.
What about his own players, his big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili who are at the tail end of their careers, and moving forward with Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. They're the future.
"When those three guys leave, my life will stay the same," Popovich said. "It's basketball, it's not my life. It's basketball."
What about as a coach?
"That's different. It goes through your head. I thought about it five years ago. So I think about it all the time. Mostly I'll be sad not to have them around more than anything. When you've been with somebody as long as I have with those three guys, I'll miss walking in the gym seeing them in there. You know, life goes on for everybody."
So what loosened up the coach? A question about taking his former players, DeJuan Blair (now with the Wizards) and George Hill to where he's from in Gary, Ind., an area so dark and rough that both players were scared. Or his reasons for bringing in 1968 U.S. Olympian John Carlos, who was famously suspended for his civil rights protest in Mexico City.
"Basketball is boring if that's all you do," Popovich said. "You got to know there's more to life out there and you care about things beyond basketball. Makes them feel part of a bigger entity than just a basketball organization. They start to know about each other and share ideas, get closer, feel more responsible for each other. It's just sort of a pretty common-sensical leadership sort of thing."