But it's more than that.
Zirin also provides a priceless insight by means of a brief reference to being transformational as opposed to transactional in player development (or similar situations; passage underlined below).
In short, never would Gregg Popovich "present" the San Antonio Spurs, and never has he built a cult of personality around himself. It's been about developing humans, not stoking egos.
Then there's Carlos himself.
"It felt great to spread the message that it has to be about more than just the game, the check, the fortune and fame. It’s imperative for me to let them know they can do so much more and just how they can make nonviolent change in such a violent world. I’m just blessed I had the opportunity to be here."
These are selfless men, and I live in a selfish city. JeffG finds the center of the target.
Legit question: How many hundreds of thousands of public dollars could we save in New Albany if we just stopped making plaques, banners, billboards, signs, videos, and electronic ads that prominently feature Jeff Gahan? I've never seen that much spent on self-promotion. Boy, egos are expensive.
There's simply so much to learn, and you never know where the next lesson will originate.
John Carlos Meets the Spurs, by Dave Zirin (The Nation)
This past weekend, I traveled to Texas with 1968 Olympic Sprinter and medal stand protester John Carlos to speak to the San Antonio Spurs. At the request of their head coach, Gregg Popovich, Dr. Carlos addressed the team and then we attended a practice. I delivered an intro about the social context of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and then turned it over to Dr. Carlos for a brief talk and Q&A ...
The main reason I am not going to write about any of this is that if I learned one thing about Gregg Popovich this weekend, it’s that praise legitimately makes him uncomfortable. Pop is cool as hell ... even though he wouldn’t want to hear it,
Popovich embodies what InSide Out Coaching author Joe Ehrmann means when he writes that coaches need to be “transformational” instead of “transactional”; in other words, caring about developing players as human beings as opposed to using them to gratify their own egos.