"Manu in Spanish, anyone?" asked a Spurs rep at the team's media day last Friday, trying to draw bilingual reporters from a scrum around Gregg Popovich. "Manu in Spanish?"
It was a hectic scene at the Spurs practice center, with Spurs staff and the city's media running around, mingling and co-ordinating coverage. Huge camera rigs bathed light on Tim Duncan and Matt Bonner as the seven-footers posed in slo-mo action.
Meanwhile, coach Popovich delivered news of the off-season in his signaturely dry, over-it tone. When asked about a overarching theme for the year, he replied, "You all might have said we've had a theme, but y'all have made that up. All we've said is we want to be the best we can come playoff time."
Popovich responded to the expectations for Kawhi Leonard after his stunning Finals MVP performance, to "be careful about making Kawhi into Larry, Michael or Magic." For the 2014 season, Popovich wants to make Leonard's top tier performance like clockwork. "I want to talk to him more about consistency."
Popovich also teased out a few jokes on the off-season fitness of forward Boris Diaw: "We have a pool where you guess his weight. You have to start at 275."