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February 20, 2011

Gregg Popovich

Doc Rivers


West – 148
East - 143

Q. Coach, could you hear the Blake Griffin chants?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: We were going to put him in in about one more minute and then the chants started so we had to put him in.
Yeah, I heard them. It was great. He has fans. It's great.

Q. Your thoughts on Kobe?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Thoughts on Kobe? He's one hell of a player.

Q. What do you think made him so good today? Nothing specific?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: He's Kobe. He does things like that. We shouldn't be surprised.

Q. You got through the All-Star Game. Is this something that -- do you get a lot of enjoyment out?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: I'm not done yet. (Laughter) Because you're asking me a question.

Q. So if we just cut it then you'll be happy and we just say, go home, go back to San Antonio.
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Well, you know, if anybody -- if you think about it, sure, everybody would like to take a break now and then, but for me personally, and I've mentioned it before, just to be in the locker room with those guys is an awesome thrill. You look around and you see them all in one locker room and it's Justin credible, and to watch them interact with each other and to play with each other, that's the thrill of it for me.

Q. Do you learn from coaching this calibre of player, learn something from the game that you maybe didn't know before?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: That's a great question. You know, you're not really focused that way. But I think you learn about people. You learn a little bit more about each guy's personality and who has a sense of humor, and you know, those sorts of things. So you get to really appreciate the people more in these sorts of environments. You don't coach; it's hard not to coach so, you sit there and have your assistants hold you down. Right, Doc? You saw that great transition-d by both teams, but you have to sit there and shut up, because it's not about that.

Q. Pop, does it get harder to not coach when it gets close at the end like that?
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: Yeah, you sort of fall into it. You know, we each called a time-out because we wanted to win and at that point the players want to win, because they are competitive people. You sort of grow into it as the game gets close. Doc and I thought the assistant coaches wanted to win a whole bunch more.

Q. What do you think about the boo to your players?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Oh, I thought that was beautiful. You knew they were. That's why I put them in together. I just thought it was nice to put them in together, and the fact that it was in L.A., you knew they would not get a rousing ovation. But that was fine. I think our guys expected it and it was fun. Our guys got a good laugh out of it.

Q. What makes Deron Williams unique among the top point guards in this league?
COACH DOC RIVERS: Pop sees him more, so I'll let him answer.
COACH GREGG POPOVICH: The first thing you notice about him is his strength. You know, he's really a thick young man. His upper body, his arms, he really takes a hit and he plays great with contact. You know, a lot of point guards are not made or haven't played that way, so his physicality is really special, and over the years, he's added that three-point shot and the ability to shoot a jumper, which makes him very tough to guard, because he's got that burst with that strength or he's back shooting shots.
So those things are great, but he also has a mentality about him. So he's got a good pace, understands what he needs to do, involving other players, or he needs to score, that type of thing.

Q. I don't know if he saw your bench when LeBron was making all the baskets down the stretch but KG was cheering harder than anybody. Just wondering what you thought about that.
COACH DOC RIVERS: Well, that's just KG. He wanted to win. The guys wanted to win towards the end. You know, so it's really nice. You don't really know how guys are going to interchange, and Pop was talking about it earlier. I think for us coaches, there's not a lot of coaching going on during these games. At the end, like you said, you fall into it, but it's really neat trying to just watch the people interact and I think you do learn a little bit about different guys. So for me that was the enjoyment of the game.

Q. When four of your guys came in, usually not a lot of defense in these games but the first two possessions Kobe had the ball, Ray was right in his shirt. Was that a little surprising?
COACH DOC RIVERS: You kind of expect it. And let's be honest, Kobe had it going, to say the least. I think at that point, when we put them in, whoever came in would have tried to guard him. Kobe was sensational. He went for it early. Him and Westbrook, you could see the guys from here, they had a little more juice into the game. The problem with that is they were all in the West and that became a problem for the east.

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