NBA Champ Spurs with Star Coach in Berlin

Charismatic coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Photo: Lukas Schulze «1/1»

Charismatic coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Photo: Lukas Schulze

From From Florian Luetticke, dpa

Berlin - The biggest attraction of the San Antonio Spurs is their coach. With its philosophy Gregg Popovich has formed the five-time champion for the most consistent team of the NBA. Also during the visit to Berlin, shows the unusual approach of the coach-fellow.

The Berlin trip from NBA champion San Antonio Spurs started with a disappointment - especially for the culturally interested Success Coach Gregg Popovich.

Surprised responded the five-time champion coach at the first practice in the Hall of test opponent ALBA on the news that the world famous Pergamon Altar is currently closed to the public because of renovation. "It's closed? I had it on the list, my players will be disappointed, you will not see Nefertiti, "Popovich commented before sporting duel with Germany's Basketball runner-up on Wednesday.

Although the 65-year-old like leaves with the ironic humor of what he says seriously. The concern of the lateral thinker to the training of its professionals with France's top star Tony Parker fits the image of the most stable team of glamor league NBA. "I love to overseas to be, work, play, eat, to experience a different culture," Popovich said of grueling preparation trip to Berlin and Istanbul. "It's always good when you come out from home of their own environment, the guys closer together, talk to each other more."

For 17 years, the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki's archrival is any season in the playoffs, the longest current series by far in the league, and invented at the five title wins always new. The most important factor is the philosophy of thinkers Popovich, who also drew a career with the CIA times into consideration. "Our culture makes us out," club legend and former NBA champion Sean Elliott explained on the edge of the visit to Germany. "Pop is very forward-looking. The main idea is that we want guys with good character. "

This was also before the upcoming season, the Spurs after the superior 4: 1 go-final victory over the Miami Heat once again as the hunted. For a long time the Texans rely on international talent, meanwhile, are equal to nine foreign professionals in the squad. «Spurs dominate the NBA with European style", headlined "CBS".

Now Popovich won also two unusual wizard in the coaching staff. The Italian Ettore Messina, the four took the biggest club title in Europe with his team wants to evolve after his highly-paid job at CSKA Moscow. "You are a role model for every basketball team, also in Europe," said the 55-year-old in Berlin with a book by Ken Follett under the arm over San Antonio. "It is for me absolutely no step back, because I get to work with the best coaches in the world."

This committed in the former world class player Becky Hammon also the first female full-time member of a coaching staff in one of the four major sports leagues in the United States. "This is a classic pop action," said Elliott. "He always wants to do only the team better, only that is what these obligations."

This approach could also experience local coach, the coach with the white beard allowed Monday night in a course more than a half-hour insight into his sports ideology. And before the Spurs want to stop at ALBA in the tenth duel with an international team to their first defeat, gave Popovich for his team as a tour guide yet valuable tips, such as European champions Parker reported: "Pop always has a great list, where there is the best wine . »

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