Spurs Click & Scroll: Cuban enjoys trash talk, Sager doesn’t want ‘nice’ Pop

• Carlisle says Pop should be named Coach of the Century | ESPN Dallas

While the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks remain division rivals, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had no problem showering his counterpart on the Spurs sideline with praise.

At morning shootaround prior to tonight’s Game 2 in San Antonio, Carlisle was asked what he thought about Spurs coach Gregg Popovich recieving the Coach of the Year award.

“Why don’t we just give him Coach of the Century?” Carlisle said after Wednesday’s shootaround at the AT&T Center before Game 2 of the Spurs-Mavs series. “I mean, he’s the greatest. Obviously, [Coach of the Year is] very well deserved. They were almost a wire-to-wire top seed in the league, and he’s the best. He’s the best.”

• Cuban enjoys verbal sparring with Spurs fans | Dallas Morning News

While Carlisle had no problem praising Popovich, you wouldn’t expect that kind of behavior from the Dallas Mavericks’ owner. Spurs fans love to hate Mark Cuban. I happen to think he’s a marketing genius who adds fuel to the fire when it comes to rivalries to draw interest from casual NBA fans who may not regularly tune into a Spurs-Mavs series. Cuban, who has lobbed countless bombs at San Antonio, and especially the Riverwalk, seemed to ease his foot off the accelerator when talking about Spurs fans and San Antonio with the Dallas Morning News recently.

“I’ve only been (cussed out by fans) here at the arena,” he said. “Some of the fans can be brutal here.

“Walking down the street, I have no problems. Hanging out, taking pictures, signing autographs, eating dinner, whatever. Everybody is super nice. I have fun with it,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a serious subject. People who know me know I like San Antonio and always have.”

• Mavs need Nowitzki to rebound to get even with Spurs | Houston Chronicle

After a lackluster Game 1 performance in which he shot 28 percent from the field, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is looking to bounce back in Game 2. The Houston Chronicle asked coach Rick Carlisle and several Mavs players about Nowitzki’s performance and it’s clear Game 1 is a distant memory and there are no concerns going into Game 2.

“Dirk is our least concern,” said backup guard Devin Harris, who led Dallas with 19 points in the opener. “He is going to get his shots and we know he’s going to make them.”

• Sager touched, but jokes that a nice Pop ‘just wouldn’t be right’ | Fox Sports/Bloguin

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich gave quite a sideline interview during Game 1. Instead of giving another reporter the Pop treatment, he was being interviewed by Craig Sager’s son. Sager has been recently diagnosed with leukemia and Popovich took the opportunity to deliver  a heartfelt message to Sager. Sager was interviewed recently and called Popovich’s message an honor and uplifting, but jokes that he’s not so sure a “nice” Pop would be right.

“It was just fabulous, an uplifting, tremendous thing for me.”

He added, “Pop saying he wanted me back and then promising to be nice? I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s unbelievable, what an honor’ … But then I started thinking about it: If I come back and Pop starts being nice to me, it just wouldn’t be right.”

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.