This is one of the better things I read so far this season.
In much the same way that I (and many others) have a hard time watching what’s become of life in American culture, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich feels the same. Pop is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, winning four championships and has had what many consider the best franchise this past decade. Meanwhile, rather than signing big-name talents like other teams have done, he has done the non-conventional thing and found the right players to fit his system. Team-first players instead of big egos with twitter accounts.
A big story this year has come from the play of Ricky Rubio, a twenty-year old from Spain whose style of play has been compared to legends like Pistol Pete and Larry Bird. After years of skepticism, he’s proved his worth and is having a great rookie season.
So when Pop was asked (he has and still coaches many international players) how the young Spaniard would adjust to adopting American culture, this is what he said.
“These guys, they travel around the world,” Pop said of international players. ”They’re more cultured than we are. Everyone acts like Americans are the ones…we have sort of an arrogance about us. Like we’re the cultured ones? Are you serious?
“Have you watched TV lately? Have you seen what Americans do? How many languages do you speak? And you wonder how they’re going to adjust to our culture? I hope they avoid it and keep their own!”
I wish I could have seen the reporter’s reaction to that response.