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Gregg Popovich has “Always” Hated the Three Pointer

For Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, a modern obsession with three pointers has ruined the beauty of the NBA.

Gregg Popovich feels that analytics-orientated basketball has skewed the NBA towards threes and killed other aspects of the game.

Speaking to, the veteran coach outlined his weariness with the modern game.

“These days there’s such an emphasis on the 3 because it’s proven to be analytically correct,” Gregg Popovich said

“Now you look at a stat sheet after a game and the first thing you look at is the 3s. If you made 3s and the other team didn’t, you win. You don’t even look at the rebounds or the turnovers or how much transition D was involved. You don’t even care. That’s how much an impact the 3-point shot has, and it’s evidenced by how everybody plays.”


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Popovich’s success came mostly in a previous NBA era. San Antonio Spurs title wins in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014 attest to his ability to adapt. Despite knowing how to roll with the punches, he feels things have gone in the wrong direction.

Perhaps he is frustrated with his current side’s inability to master the three. Spurs are 10 – 11 so far this season, and in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. His team rank 28th in the league with regard to 3-point attempts.


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“I hate it, but I always have,” he said.

“I’ve hated the 3 for 20 years. That’s why I make a joke all the time [and say] if we’re going to make it a different game, let’s have a 4-point play. Because if everybody likes the 3, they’ll really like the 4. People will jump out of their seats if you have a 5-point play. It will be great. There’s no basketball anymore, there’s no beauty in it. It’s pretty boring. But it is what it is, and you need to work with it.

“You’ve got to have downhill players, you’ve got to have people that can penetrate and kick, you’ve got to have people who can switch, you’ve got to have big guys who can play little guys.”

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