During the San Antonio Spurs-Oklahoma City Thunder Western Conference Finals series, Tiago Splitter got quite the tongue-lashing from head coach Gregg Popovich for making a mistake on the defensive end in OKC. In case you missed it, here is how it went down.
I bet Tiago didn’t like being on that end of a Pop yell-session but now that the season is over (unfortunately), Splitter spoke about the incident and says it simply just a case of being in the heat of the moment in the playoffs.
“It’s all right, Popovich said to me. I talked to him after the game and everything is fine, it was only a moment when the game was hot. I made a mistake and he gave me a talking. It’s normal, he does so with all the players and there was no bitterness,” he said.
“I did something wrong and had listened to his instructions. But he kept talking and I kind of not looked at him. There was confusion. But he also did it with Parker, Ginobili, what you cannot see inside the locker room,” he said.
Splitter also went on to state after the game was over, he and Pop spoke about the incident and says Pop still loves him.
“He said he still loves me (laughs), which was a normal thing in the game. We talked and he has no problems,” said the Brazilian.
As the video above shows, Splitter did screw up on the defensive end (which would upset Pop seeing how he preaches defense) but that’s what you got to like about Pop. He doesn’t hold grudges, or berate players without cause. He had to get through to Splitter so he doesn’t do the same error again. He did, the series is over, and the exchange is old-news. Over and done with. This player-coach dynamic Pop breeds is why he is considered one of the best coaches in the NBA.
Splitter is currently in Brazil preparing with the Brazilian national team in preparation of the 2012 Olympics in London.