A 20-second sound bite of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich addressing his team during a fourth-quarter timeout went viral on YouTube after Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night.
“Are we having fun yet?” Popovich begins. “I need a little bit more dose of nasty. I'm seeing a little bit of unconfidence, a little hesitation. It's not supposed to be easy. Every round gets tougher. Penetrate hard. Good passes. Shoot with confidence. I want some nasty.”
The Spurs overcame a nine-point deficit in the final period to post a 101-98 victory at the AT&T Center.
The catch phrase immediately caught on locally.
Starting at 6 a.m. Monday, a local souvenir shop received a stream of requests for “I WANT SOME NASTY” T-shirts, although production could not begin until Tuesday morning because the printer was closed on Memorial Day.
A local Mexican restaurant now has a “Nasty” meal special.
DON'T KNOW JACK
Mercurial forward Stephen Jackson, a member of the 2003 world championship Spurs, defended three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant the entire fourth period of Game 1 and held him without a fourth-quarter field goal in the playoffs for only the third time in his career (0 for 2 from the field; 6 for 6 from the free-throw line).
Jackson spent 18 minutes of Game 1 on the floor with Durant, who went 1 for 4.
Popovich had a ready answer for Jackson's success: “Because Jack has no idea what he's doing, so neither does the offense.”
The Milwaukee Bucks traded Jackson to Golden State on March 13. Two days later, the Spurs traded Richard Jefferson and a draft pick for Jackson.
“My first thought was, ‘Why in the world am I doing this?'” Popovich said. “My second thought was, ‘Well, maybe he might play well for us in the playoffs.' Thirdly, you like having him around. He has a great sense of humor and our guys love him.”
BIG 3 SHOWDOWN
San Antonio's Hall of Fame Big 3 of Tim Duncan (6 for 15) Tony Parker (6 for 15) and Manu Ginobili (9 for 14) combined for 60 points, 24 rebounds, 11 assists, nine turnovers and shot a combined 21 for 44 (. 477) from the floor Sunday. They played a season-high 24 minutes together.
OKC's Big 3 of Durant (8 for 19), Russell Westbrook (7 for 21) and James Harden (7 for 17) combined for 63 points, 21 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 turnovers and a combined 22 for 57 (. 386).
How did Popovich think his team did against the Thunder's Big 3?
“Could have been better,” Popovich said. “They're going to score, no matter what the defense is. You just try to do the best job you can, but there's no stopping those guys. You just try to make them work hard and limit them in certain situations.”
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