Spurs boss Popovich unloads on president Trump

By Ron Clements 22 January 2017
Spurs boss Popovich unloads on president Trump

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich did not hold anything back when asked about United States president Donald Trump.

Popovich praised those who marched on Washington in protest of Trump's presidency and said the personality of the country's new leader is worrisome, hitting out at the 70-year-old's lack of maturity.

A five-time NBA championship-winning coach, Popovich gave a four-minute speech on the political situation before the Spurs played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, a day after Trump was sworn in as USA's 45th president.

"The march today was great. That message is important, and it could have been a whole lot of groups marching. And somebody said on TV, 'What's their message?' Well, their message is obvious. That's, our president comes in with the lowest [approval] rating of anybody whoever came into the office. And there's a majority of people out there — since Hillary won the popular vote — that don't buy his act," Popovich said.

"And I just wish that he was more — had the ability to be more — mature enough to do something that really is inclusive rather than just talking and saying, 'I'm going to include everybody.' He could talk to the groups that he disrespected and maligned during the primary and really make somebody believe it. But so far, we've got [to] a point where you really can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth. You really can't. All those thousands that were over on the rooftops after 9/11? There were like two. And, 'We went to Hawaii and checked [Obama's] birth certificate and investigators couldn't believe what they found!' There wasn't anything there. That kind of thing.

"So, it's over and over again. With the CIA today, instead of honouring the 117 people behind him where he was speaking, he talked about the size of the crowd. That's worrisome. That's worrisome.

"I'd just feel better if somebody was in that position that showed the maturity and psychological and emotional level of somebody that was his age. It's dangerous and it doesn't do us any good. I hope he does a great job but there's a difference between respecting the office of the presidency and who occupies it. And that respect has to be earned. But it's hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids and we're watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racist and make fun of handicapped people.

"And what really bothers me are the people around him. The Sean Spicers, the Kellyanne Conways, the Reince Priebuses that know who he is and actually have the cynical approach and disingenuous attitude to really defend him and try to make it look like he didn't say what he said. And so when he's mad at the media for them reporting when he said, that just boggles my mind.

"Kellyanne Conway the other day said that he wasn't really making fun of that handicapped person. It's beyond, it's incredible. It just really makes you wonder how far would someone go to actually cover for somebody that much. The comment was well you have to look in his heart, you don't know what's in his heart. He wouldn't do that. Well, no, he did it. And all the things that he said during that time, if our children would've said it we'd a grounded him for six months. Without a doubt. But we ignore all that because, because why? That says something about all of us and that's what's dangerous, or that's what scares the hell out of me to this day. It makes me uneasy.

"But I felt great today watching the march in protest to how he has conducted himself, because it tells me hey, I really do live in a country where a whole lot of people care. And we have to be vigilant to make sure that, although we all hope that he does good things for our country, that we don't get, you know, embarrassed by him, and roll back liberties that have been worked for, for so long in so many different areas. So, I think that's enough to make somebody think I sound terrible.

"When the media reports what he says, I'm not sure why he can get angry about that. But it is, it does boggle the mind how somebody can be so think skinned. It's all obvious, it's about him. If anything affects him, if it's 'Saturday Night Live' or 'Hamilton,' or she got three more million votes than you. [He says] 'They're illegal!' It doesn't matter what it is, there's a pattern there. And that's dangerous.

"I'd like to have someone with gravitas, but he got there through the electoral college which is part of our system, and I hope he does some good things. I just — there was a young lady on today who said, 'I just wished he had gone up there and said something like, and I know I said certain things, or you know I would really like to bring the people who don't feel, or I know some of you are scared.' But he can't do that because bullies don't do that. That's why."

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Ron Clements

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