The in-game interview is a useful exercise… in theory. An intrepid sideline reporter gets a chance to ask a coach a few hard-hitting questions about the game as it unfolds. In sports like hockey, basketball, baseball, and soccer, these interviews offer a rare look at a coach’s thought process during a game… in theory. Most of the time, these interviews offer nothing more than the regular cliches and coachspeak that every manager/coach seems to know by heart. During the regular season, these interviews rarely ever offer the insight they could provide unless a media-savvy coach like Doc Rivers is feeling talkative.
However, during the playoffs, this dog and pony show reveals itself as the facade it truly is. The last thing coaches want to do as they’re fighting for their playoff life is to answer a question from Craig Sager or Pierre McGuire about strategy or momentum or adjustments. But last night before the 4th quarter of the Spurs/Thunder game, San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich took the in-game interview to new heights…
Keep in mind, this is the full transcript…
Sager: “Well coach a dramatic turnaround in the beginning of that third quarter, what were you doing so well that you’d like to see here in the fourth?”
Popovich: “We competed”
Sager: “Manu Ginobili made the start, he’s been playing very well, how will you use him in the offense here in the fourth?”
Popovich: “Same way”
Sager: “All right thanks a lot, back to you Marv.”
Four words from Pop. Four.
Pop couldn’t even look Sager in the eye, and it wasn’t like Sager was even wearing one of his more offensive ensembles. Even Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were poking fun at this joke of an “interview.” Isn’t it time ESPN and TNT gave up hoping against hope for anything noteworthy to actually come from an in-game coach’s interview? Popovich could have saved half of the effort and just told Sager to “f*** off” and it would have been of equal value to the audience.