David West has been afforded the luxury of two great coaches over his last year and a half in the NBA. First, he took a steep discount when he opted out of his deal with the Indiana Pacers to join the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2015, which gave him a chance to play under the future Hall-of-Fame glare of Gregg Popovich. Then, this past July, he signed a veteran's minimum deal to play for Steve Kerr as part of a star-studded Warriors roster. It was a pretty overt attempt at finally getting his first championship ring, but we dare you to say that to David West's face.
When West was asked to compare the two coaches before Tuesday night's game against the visiting Heat, his answer was surprising, especially if you've spent any time listening to the often cantankerous Popovich address the media.
"[Kerr's] probably not as rah rah as Pop is." West deadpanned.
When a befuddled reporter followed up by asking "Pop is rah-rah?" the Warriors' backup big finally cracked a smile, but nodded his head that yes, in fact, Popovich was more rah-rah.
That does not sound at all like like the Gregg Popovich NBA fans know. The Spurs coach is by far the longest tenured coach in the NBA today, and his sparring with sideline reporters not named Craig Sager is legend.
When someone mentioned West's answer to Kerr, he claimed "I'm not that rah-rah," with a big grin. "Pop gets pretty fired up sometimes," Kerr added. "But I'm probably a little more even-keeled."
Kerr then said that Pop calls his in-game gesticulations "going Serbian"—Popovich's father is Serbian—and jokingly called his own in-game behavior more "going Scottish."
In an effort to augment West's proposition, here are a couple of recent examples of Popovich's rah-rah behavior:
In November of this season, he repeatedly called his team's performance "pathetic" after beating an injury-ravaged Mavericks team for his 1,100th career victory. After seeming to head back into the locker room after criticizing his team, he came back out and said: "And they deserved to win the basketball game."
Coach Pop with the best rant of the year after beating the worst team in the NBA.
Wait for it... pic.twitter.com/byLZu4eKdQ
— Casey Keirnan (@CaseyKeirnan) November 22, 2016
Then there was the time a couple seasons ago when cameras caught the rah-rah Popovich telling his starting shooting guard Danny Green to "shut the fuck up."
Gregg Popovich: classic rah-rah cheerleader type.