Kansas coach Bill Self issued a thank you to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday.
“What Pop and the Spurs have done will make it much easier for college coaches to coach,” Self said during the Big 12’s summer teleconference. “Listen to the timeouts, ‘Ball can’t stick, ball can’t stick.’ Those are the exact same words that coaches all across America and certainly we have used daily — ball movement, body movement.
“I think this will certainly help re-emphasize what coaches are selling at all levels, which I think will be great for our game.”
Self’s words certainly carry plenty of weight on their own, but Big 12 coaches know plenty of their players play with an eye toward the NBA, and seeing a team win with the level of ball movement and unselfishness that the Spurs had helps reinforce coaching points.
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has already noticed a difference — not in his team, but in even younger players.
Smith and the Red Raiders have hosted a youth camp this week.
“I can see with the campers how — because we teach ball movement, passing game, motion offense, share the ball, pass and cut — I’ve seen a real difference in the young kids,” Smith said. “And I hope our players will appreciate it also. I think it will help coaches in the future at the college level and at the high school level watching the Spurs play.
“They epitomize how the game should be played.”
Self got an up-close view of the Spurs during the NBA Finals, watching Sunday’s series-clinching Game 5 with close friend R.C. Buford, San Antonio’s general manager.