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OKC Thunder: Q&A with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich

Monday, Popovich was in a playful mood before turning serious and having some extremely complementary things to say about Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: May 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm •  Published: May 26, 2014

“That's irrelevant to me. Everybody handles things differently. No one really knows what their motivation was or how much was a game or how much was just fact. I don't think it's really relevant. You go play and whoever is on the court plays. It's none of our business who they play or who they don't play, so I just look at it that way.”

You've always appreciated the international talent, and Serge is a guy that like a lot of guys in this league, he's been through a lot and came up through a country that had a ton of turmoil. Even he doesn't know if he has 18 siblings or 20 siblings. What kind of perspective have you had on him just in the past couple of years?

“I think he's a special player and a special person. The way he handles himself, the class that he exudes, I think he's the best defensive player in the league, but I think he's been overlooked to some degree in that regard. But he also does what he does at the offensive end. I think he's one of the most gifted players in our league because he's a dual player. He does it at both ends of the court. But he's also a fine man, so that's a pretty great combination.”

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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