Gregg Popovich isn’t one to talk about his emotions all that often, but is very candid during press conferences, and has no problem sharing his opinion.
It’s usually politics or the state of the Spurs that Pop weighs in on, especially the former, which he’s been vocal about over the years. Popovich routinely teed off on former president Donald Trump, joining a few other NBA stars, such as LeBron James, in doing so.
And while he avoids talking about himself, Team USA’s recent gold medal win in the Tokyo Olympics seemed to be the perfect platform to address what was going through his head. His squad, after all, took a ton of heat for poor performances in exhibition play, yet it looked as dominant as we’ve seen in years in the semifinals and final, knocking off a star-studded opponent in France to win the gold medal.
The victory seemed to be a huge weight off Popovich and his players’ shoulders, and his comments after the game said as much.
“I can be honest and say this is the most responsibility I’ve ever felt because you’re playing for so many people that are watching and for you country,” he said, via the Los Angeles Times. “The responsibility was awesome. I felt that every day for several years…. I’m glad that it’s over.”
Team USA lived up to the pre-Olympics hype and proved critics wrong, and it sure looks like everyone involved is happy the pressure is off, with their main goal having been achieved.