Popovich Misses Lakers Game Due to Illness

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in 2017
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich in 2017. Photo by Stephen Lew/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9237139y)

The San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was absent from his team’s crushing 92-123 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. Assistant coach Brett Brown filled in for Popovich on the night.

Although he spoke with reporters about an hour and a half before tipoff, Popovich was unable to appear at the game after incurring an illness, the team announced. Brown was unaware that he would be filling in for Popovich until moments before the game.

Despite the Spurs losing 10 of their 11 previous games, Popovich continues to remain positive about his team, choosing to remember the advantages of his and his players’ predicaments.

“It’s about values and goals, that’s how you get through it,” Popovich said. “And beyond that, you kind of slap yourself: It’s really a tough life. I can’t pay my electric bill, the players can’t pay their gas bills and gas is too expensive for them to buy. C’mon, give me a break. This is the greatest job in the world, so if you complain, you’re an idiot,” the 73-year-old coach commented.