NBA Finals notes: Popovich to stick around with Spurs

NBA Finals notes: Popovich to stick around with Spurs
June 20, 2013, 9:00 pm
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MIAMI — Gregg Popovich is the longest-tenured coach in the NBA, holding down the San Antonio job since 1996.

And while coaches are either being fired or looking for greener pastures elsewhere, Popovich has no plans of walking away from the game anytime soon.

"I think vacation is overrated," Popovich said. "I mean, I'll take some time, I'll walk the streets some place and I'll travel and I'll spend time with my family in other places. But after a little while just getting up when you want in the morning and really not having challenges gets a little boring. You can only grow so many tomatoes and read so many books. You want to get busy, get competitive again. When I stop feeling competitive around September, then I'll hang it up."

As much as he enjoys coaching, Popovich also understands better than most how tough it can be on so many levels.

Popovich was asked about being in a Game 7 matchup and whether it was something he could appreciate now or would that appreciation come at a later date and time.

"It's torture," Popovich said. "It's hard to appreciate or enjoy torture."  

So if it's torture, why in the world would you keep doing time and time again, coach?

"That's why I say coaches are sick puppies," he said.

Avoiding the 'R' word
Throughout the season, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has done a good job of having his team avoid talking about repeating as NBA champions. But now that they are in the brink of it, Spoelstra admits this run towards a second consecutive NBA title feels a lot different than last season.

"This feels much, much different than last year," Spoelstra said. "And that's the point. It's never the same. It's always the most difficult thing you'll ever do collectively. And that's what this is.

Spoelstra added, "we know in this game tonight we'll have to beat the Spurs at their best and that's the way it should be. May the best team win."

Lineup update
Both teams will trot out the same starting five they had in Game 6. For the Heat, Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, Mike Miller, LeBron James and Chris Bosh make up their starting five while the Spurs counter with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Danny Green,  Kahwi Leonard and Tim Duncan.