National Columnist

Hop on Pop bandwagon after interview with Craig Sager's kid

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Are we going to have to like Gregg Popovich now?

In a word: Yes.

Maybe you liked him already. If you were a Spurs fan, you surely did. If you were a fan of dry humor and affectionate glowering, you probably did. Anyone else? Probably not.

Until Sunday, when Popovich changed the narrative on his whole damn persona with one sound bite.

You've seen it. If not, congratulations on being so successfully unplugged on Easter. But click that video up there now. And click it twice, which will put you about 10 times behind me, because this is the sort of thing I love more than McGriddles.

Show me something heartfelt, and I'll enjoy it. Show me something heartfelt from someone hard-ass? I'll enjoy it 10 or 12 times. And so will lots of you, which is why the Internet was abuzz Sunday about the way Popovich handled Craig Sager Jr., who performed the scary sideline interview with Pop in place of his father, the sartorially splendid Craig Sager, who is taking time off to battle leukemia.

This interview wasn't scary. This was Pop at his gentlest, congratulating the younger Sager on his questions and then turning to the TNT camera to speak directly to Sager's father. Pop gave Craig Sager a quick little pep talk, live and on national television during a playoff game!

Someday soon Gregg Popovich will do something very Gregg Popovich-like. He'll snarl at someone, and the rest of us will smile and know better.

We're onto you, Pop.

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