Team USA is in Australia for its final stretch of preparations ahead of the FIBA World Cup. At practice in Melbourne as they prepare for a couple exhibition games against Patty Mills and the Australian National Team on August 22 and 24, Jazz Guard Donovan Mitchell caught Gregg Popovich horsing around, showing he still has moves despite having not having played organized ball since 1972 (as far as we know).
Let’s break this down. There’s the swaggy, behind-the-back dribble, then he steps into a mid-range shot from the top left corner of the key, which he makes. (No wonder he has no issue riding this mid-range heavy Spurs offense despite conventional wisdom about the modern NBA game.) Then there’s the nonchalant dribble and fancy ball spin as we walks away from the basket before the video cuts away.
However, the best part has to be Mitchell’s narration of the play. There’s the slightly surprised with a hint of “impressed” expression of “Oh, oh okay, okay” as Pop does his move. Then Mitchell calls “cash” before Pop’s shot even goes in, followed by the best part of all:
“At guard: 6-1 from Serbia…”
It seems evident that Coach Greybeard has been bonding with his young charges. Even though Pop was born and raised in Indiana, his father is Serbian, and Pop himself is fluent in both Serbian and Russian. If he hasn’t already, I’m waiting for Pop to go “Serbian” on the media one day and answer their silly questions in another language just to confuse them and force a translator to work it out for them. (Boban Marjanovic is just 4+ hours up the road in Dallas now. Maybe he can help.)
Never change, Pop, and as for Mitchell: even though he’s still young with a bright career ahead of him on the court, Spida may already be learning what his post-NBA career should be: play-by-play broadcaster.
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