[The Athletic] - Johnson: We were on the bus to go to the plane the next morning. He said, “Everybody get off the bus.” It’s early in the morning. We had to follow him.
Stoudamire: We go into the park, and there’s a homeless guy sitting on the bench, right? He’s minding his own business in the park. And Pop asks the guy, “Excuse me, can we have a meeting real quick?”
Johnson: He’s like, “Sit right here. Sit in the grass.” Some guys didn’t want to sit in the grass because it was still wet. He was like, “Man, I’ll buy you new clothes. Just sit in the damn grass.” He sat down and just started calmly letting guys have it. “Bruce Bowen, you’re a prima donna. You don’t play defense anymore like people say you do.” He just went down the line. And the thing is, all the stuff he’s saying, he’s right about.
This whole story is about Pop's coaching strategies and also former Spurs players just talking about how great he is. It's actually pretty good with a bunch of good stories. But this is the one I can't stop laughing. The image of Gregg Popovich politely asking a homeless man in Sacramento if he minded losing his shit is perfect.
I love Pop. I know there's no in between with him, you either hate him or love him, but I love him. I can't get enough of his antics and I know it's a double standard that he can be a grouch and talk shit to reporters but he's also a goddamn good coach so he gets away with it.
Imagine being this homeless guy. Gotta wonder if he knew Pop, Duncan, Parker or any of the Spurs, but I digress. Here you are just minding your own business, sitting on a park bench and someone comes up and taps you and politely asks you about a meeting. I think you gotta stand your ground. You gotta sit there, watch the whole thing unfold and then run and tell everyone the story since that's how you went viral back in the day. There's zero chance you get off the bench. You get as close to that as possible.