less than four months after a devastating loss to

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less than four months after a devastating loss to

Notapor Dogcat250 » Mié Ago 14, 2019 9:13 pm

The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. Some coaches would try to brush off the disappointment of letting a title slip through their fingers and refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Gregg Popovich took it head on, embraced the heartache, and in a career full of masterful coaching performances, delivered perhaps his finest effort in season No. 18. "The way we lost in the finals wasnt an ordinary loss, it was pretty devastating," Popovich said on Tuesday after being named NBA coach of the year. "We decided that we needed to just face that right off the bat at the beginning of the season and get it out of the way. Dont blame it on the basketball gods or bad fortune or anything like that, the Miami Heat beat us and won the championship and thats that." Popovich joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches in league history to take home the Red Auerbach trophy three times in their career. "Theyre on the hood of my car," Popovich cracked. "One, two, three, right on the car, the way players do license plates. ... Ive got three of those right on the hood." Hes never liked the attention, never bought into the proclamations of his genius. When the accolades come his way, Popovich is quick to deflect them, giving the credit to his players, his assistant coaches, owner Peter Holt and general manager R.C. Buford. The humility in his voice on Tuesday was genuine, the challenge of putting the pieces back together after last seasons finish as daunting as ever. They showed up to training camp still stinging from that defeat, and Popovich had to get to know a new-look coaching staff after losing longtime assistants Brett Brown and Mike Budenholzer to head coaching jobs in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Then he led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. And he did it while deftly navigating a season filled with nagging injuries to several key players. Tim Duncan was the only starter to play in at least 70 games. No Spur averaged 30 minutes per game and Tony Parker led the team with a modest 16.7 points per game. Despite all of that, the Spurs won at least 50 games for the 15th straight season and topped 60 for the fourth time in that span. "Day after day, year after year, the energy that Pop provides our organization is truly unique," Buford said. The Spurs lead the Dallas Mavericks 1-0 in their best-of-seven series, with Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio. "Hes a gentleman," Spurs swingman Marco Belinelli said. "Everybody knows that hes the best coach in the league. So to say that is not really important. But maybe some people, they dont know hes really a great guy, a great gentleman. He really helps guys, helps each other. He wants to help everybody. Great person." When Miami topped San Antonio in that classic seven-game series, Popovichs reaction resonated deeply within some members of the Heat organization. Instead of showing his disappointment at the final buzzer, Popovich lingered on the court for a few minutes, sharing heartfelt embraces and words with Erik Spoelstra, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, among others -- even smiling as he chatted with them and congratulated them on winning the title. And when told of Popovichs award Tuesday, James offered high praise to the Spurs coach. "Not surprised," James said. "Its well-awarded. I have the utmost respect for Gregg Popovich, man. Not only what hes been able to do for that team, but him just being able to always keep those guys motivated and always keep their best interests. ... From the outside looking in, it seems that he has their best interests and all he cares about is the teams success and nothing else matters. Thats big-time." Behind all his press conference bluster and the orneriness he directs toward the officials, there is a softer side that endears Popovich to those around him. That much was revealed during Game 1 against the Mavericks when he was interviewed by Craig Sager Jr., who was filling in for his father, a longtime sideline reporter who is being treated for leukemia. Popovichs curt demeanour and one-word answers to the elder Sagers questions have become appointment viewing, but this time the coach stopped in the middle of tense game, stared right into the camera and delivered a heart-felt message. "We miss you. Youve been an important part of all of us for a long time, doing a great job," he said. "We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise Ill be nice." Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes and 380 total points in voting conducted by a panel of media members. Phoenixs Jeff Hornacek (37 first-place votes) finished second and Chicagos Tom Thibodeau (12) finished third in the voting, with Charlottes Steve Clifford and Torontos Dwane Casey rounding out the top five in a season so strong that Spoelstra did not make the top 10. Allen Iverson Jersey . With timely hitting and good pitching, the Marlins are one win away from sweeping the slumping Houston Astros. Carmelo Anthony Nuggets Jersey . Burris threw for 247 yards in one half of a game -- on pace for a nearly 500-yard outing -- as the Redblacks downed the woeful Montreal Alouettes 26-10 in CFL pre-season play Friday night at Percival Molson Stadium. http://www.nuggetsproshop.com/Paul-Millsap-Nuggets-Jersey/ . New Zealand brushed aside England 26-7 to win the event and reclaim top spot in the overall standings. The All Blacks, the defending World Series champions, won their third tournament this season in style, running four tries past England to claim their 11th Cup championship in Hong Kong and first since 2011. Tyler Lydon Nuggets Jersey . The closer wasnt available. The road trip, a disaster to that point. Alex English Nuggets Jersey . A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline, Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date. They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being handed over after the expected date only because of problems accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who wants to be present for the ceremonies.LONDON -- The IOC is using an improved steroid test to reanalyze frozen doping samples from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and may use the same method to conduct retests from the 2008 Beijing Games. The tests can detect steroid use going further back than ever before and in lower concentrations, IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "Its a natural development of the methodology," he said, adding that the test increases the chances of catching drug cheats who went undetected at the time. The International Olympic Committee announced in March that it would retest Turin samples, just as it rechecked samples from the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games in Athens and Beijing -- catching 10 dopers retroactively. The IOC stores Olympic samples for eight years to allow for retesting if new methods become available. The Turin retesting involves a wider detection window, possibly going back as much as six months or more after steroids were taken. "The IOC is currently retesting some of the samples collected during the Olympic Winter Games in Turin in 2006 and we can confirm that we are using the new long-term metabolites method to detect anabolic steroids," the IOC said in a statement. The method will also be used in the drug-testing program at Februarys Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. According to a weekend report by German broadcaster ARD, doping labs in Cologne and Moscow using then new method have detected hundreds of positive cases in recent months. The report said the substances included oral turinabol, a steroid widely used in the former East Germany, and stanozolol, the drug which led to Ben Johnsons disqualification at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Ljungqvist said he had no independent information on the contents of the ARD report, suggesting the cases may have involved "very old samples" tested for research purposes. "Its nothing that we have initiated," he said. Meanwhile, Ljungqvist said the IOC expects to have the results of the Turin tests by the end of the year. The tests are looking for steroids, new generations of the blood-booster EPO and growth hormone, he told the AP in a telephone interview. Urine and blood samples from Turin are stored at the doping laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exact number of retests is not known, but Ljungqvist said the IOC had identified "a couple of hundred" samples for possible reanalysis. Endurance events such as cross-country skiing are considered the most open to doping abuse. The IOC wants to wrap up the testing process, including any sanctions, before the Sochi Games, which begin Feb. 7. In 2010, the IOC reanalyzed some Turin samplees for insulin and blood-booster CERA but all came back negative.dddddddddddd. The IOC decided a few months ago to test more samples before the eight-year deadline runs out in February 2014. Only one positive case was recorded during the Turin Games -- Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva was stripped of a silver medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant. But Turin was hit by a major doping scandal when Italian police -- acting on a tip-off from the IOC -- raided the lodgings of the Austrian cross-country and biathlon team, seizing blood-doping equipment. While no Austrian athletes tested positive at the time, four later received life bans from the IOC. Last year, the IOC retested samples from the Athens Olympics and caught five athletes who were retroactively stripped of medals for using steroids, including mens shot put winner Yuriy Bilonog of Ukraine. Previously, retests of samples from Beijing for CERA led to five positive cases -- with Bahrain runner Rashid Ramzi stripped of gold in the 1,500 metres. Ljungqvist said more Beijing samples could now be retested using the improved steroid test. While the samples that have already been retested no longer exist, many others remain. "We can go back to Beijing before 2016," Ljungqvist said. "We may do that. We havent decided yet. We will do it as the eight-year time approaches." Under newly approved global rules, the statute of limitations in doping cases will be increased to 10 years starting in 2015. On a separate issue, Ljungqvist said he was confident the Russian lab assigned to test doping samples in Sochi will be ready for the games, despite a threat of sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency. On Sunday, WADA gave the lab until Dec. 1 to start reforms to improve the reliability of its results, or face a six-month suspension. The Moscow lab is due to set up a "satellite" facility in Sochi for the Olympics. "We interpret the WADA decision as if we will have the Moscow lab available," Ljungqvist said. "We take that for granted. They (the Russians) will of course fulfil the requirements established in the decision to make sure they have the proper procedures in place. We are feeling pretty confident." If the lab fails to come up to scratch, the Sochi samples would have to be sent to another lab outside Russia for testing, posing logistical and financial issues. "Of course, we have to have a Plan B, but the Plan B is not attractive," Ljungqvist said. "That would be to send samples out of Russia. We have to find a lab which wishes to do that and Im not sure what labs may wish to do that. Its quite risky with transport and all that." ' ' '

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