With the LeBron James sweepateks in full swing, every NBA team is hoping to get a shot at The King. The Spurs are no exception, as rumors indicate they’re currently one of the six teams in the running.
Interestingly enough, LeBron James actually admitted back in 2016 that playing with Pop was something of a dream of his. Here’s the full quote, via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols:
“First off all Coach K and Gregg Popovich are two my favorites of all time,” James said. “To be able to play for Coach K in the Olympics and world championships and to be able to go against Coach Pop in the NBA, it would be a treat. Obviously, my body has to continue to be in the form that it is today four years from now.”
“I’ve studied a lot from the outside looking in,” James said of Popovich during All-Star weekend in Toronto in February. “I can’t be there on a day-to-day basis. I wish I could. I believe he’s one of the great basketball minds that we’ve ever had in this game, and I wish I could be around him every day to kind of just pick his brain and see what he does, what he thinks. I believe I think the game, I’m not going to say in a similar fashion because he has more experience than me, but I think I have a high basketball IQ, too.”
Granted, the context here relates to the 2020 Olympics, where Pop is expected to be coaching the U.S. national team. Still, it’s clear from these comments that LeBron admires Popovich. To be able to play with him before he retires (which apparently might come following those Olympics), must be something that The King finds at least a little intriguing.
We’ll find out soon whether that intrigue will be enough to sell James on joining the Spurs this July.