Popovich not dwelling on past after Spurs' record-tying playoff streak ends

By Sacha Pisani 14 August 2020 5
Popovich not dwelling on past after Spurs' record-tying playoff streak ends

Gregg Popovich refused to dwell on the San Antonio Spurs missing the NBA playoffs for the first time in 23 years.

With the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns both winning their final regular-season games on Thursday, the Spurs were eliminated from postseason contention for the first time since 1996-97.

San Antonio's fate was confirmed even before their 118-112 loss to the Utah Jazz at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Despite missing out on a play-in berth behind the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers and Grizzlies in the Western Conference, Spurs head coach Popovich looked to the future.

"It means a lot to a lot of people probably but I don't dwell on the past," said Popovich, who has led the Spurs to five NBA championship since replacing Bob Hill in 1996.

"That stuff's totally [not] important, what's important is the moment you do what you've got to do then you move on, but looking at the past doesn't do much good.

"Any success we've had has been because we've had some great players."

San Antonio had won three consecutive games prior to falling to the Jazz inside the Orlando bubble – the Spurs ending their coronavirus-hit 2019-20 campaign with a 32-39 record.

Popovich added: "I'm more excited about this than anything you guys are talking about right now, successes or non-successes, because the success for streaks or whatever the hell you're talking about ended.

"I could care less about that. I'm thrilled at the way they played here."

"They had no shot to get into this thing and basically willed themselves into it to have this opportunity," the 71-year-old continued. "The development of the young kids largely playing the way they did, this is the best we've played all year. I've really enjoyed it."

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