Not only did he lead Team USA at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is also leading Team USA into the 2020 Olympics this summer.
With this position, he’s had to construct a roster of the NBA’s best to compete in the games. With so much talent at his disposal, difficult decisions regarding cuts were inevitable.
One of those roster cuts for the FIBA squad was Miami Heat big man, Bam Adebayo.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald asked how he received the news of his cut and had this to say about what Popovich said.
“I wasn’t ready. Everybody has their opinions, so I guess it was his opinion I wasn’t ready.”
Ultimately, Popovich decided to keep Brook Lopez from Milwaukee and Mason Plumlee from Denver instead. Popovich didn’t go into further detail, but apparently Adebayo quickly got over it.
“Whatever,” he said. “I got a big season coming up and I shifted my mindset to worrying about the season.”
With this in mind, it’s natural to wonder if Adebayo will have any extra motivation when the Heat take on the Spurs twice in January 2020.
“It’s human nature,” Adebayo stated. “I’m looking to go at anybody. It’s not just the Spurs and Pop. I’m trying to take the league by storm, help this team win and try to win a championship.”
According to Adebayo, he hasn’t had much contact with Popovich other than a brief interaction during the Spurs’ preseason game against Miami.
The Spurs and Heat will play Wednesday night Jan. 15 in Miami.