Gregg Popovich is the sort of person that the word “cranky” was coined for. He’s a heck of a coach, obviously—he’s preparing for his twentieth season at the helm of the Spurs, the best dynasty in professional sports—but he’s not really known for his personal warmth or on-camera charm. And maybe that’s why NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg didn’t seem all that surprised when his interview with Coach Pop was really just a series of insults from the coach. Greenberg asks questions, Pop acts like the question is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard, and Greenberg gamely tries again with a different query. It’s harsh, but it’s not exactly out of character.
What is out of character is the moment, 75 seconds in, when Popovich breaks out into a huge grin, puts his arm around Greenberg, and says, “I’m screwing with you,” before agreeing to talk about whatever the reporter wants. (Including his burgeoning Kenny Rogers beard!)
As reporters, we would have to say that the prank Popovich pulled here is pretty harsh (we’d certainly feel embarrassed if it were us)—but as human beings who like to see someone tweak their own image while simultaneously messing with some dude who seems to have no idea what to do with the man in front of them, we’re here for it. At the very least, it serves as a nice reminder that we’re on the verge of another NBA season, and we’re likely to see more of Popovich’s cranky side in the months to come—and whether he’s putting on a show or feeling sincerely surly, we’ll be here for that, too.