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Spurs’ Gregg Popovich sympathetic toward Kobe Bryant

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Some of us pass away early and some live until they’re 104. That’s obviously part of everybody’s deal. But other than that, he’s somebody who’s such a competitor that he wants to compete as long as he can,” Popovich said. “He does the things he needs to do with his body, both in what he puts in his body and how he works his body out so he can play as long as possible. That’s what drives him.”And with Bryant’s determination not enough, that left Popovich offering sympathy to the Lakers’ star.“When somebody like that in that stature goes down, it’s not good for everybody,” Popovich said. “Obviously for his team, but for the league as well.” Change the channelTNT canceled its plans Friday to televise the Lakers’ home game at Staples Center against the New York Knicks on March 12. Earlier this week, ESPN dropped the Lakers’ game in New York on Feb. 1, as the two teams have a combined 19-67 record. The scheduled Lakers’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 2 had also changed for the second time in less than a week. After ABC dumped its plan to telecast the game at 12:30 p.m. and shifted the time to 6:30 p.m., ESPN has since picked up the game and will move the time up to 3:30 p.m.center_img SAN ANTONIO — Amid all the success San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich enjoyed through five NBA championship runs, there remained one central figure that made his blood pressure boil on the sideline.His name is Kobe Bryant, the Lakers’ star winning two of his five NBA championships after playing a role in eliminating the Spurs in the postseason. But with the 36-year-old Bryant having a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that could sideline him for the rest of the 2014-15 season, Popovich looked at those frustrating times with nostalgia. “I can think of a lot of shots Kobe made that basically knocked us out,” Popovich said before the Lakers (12-31) faced the Spurs (27-17) on Friday at AT&T Center. “In an odd, weird sort of way, I sort of enjoy it. When they don’t play anymore, you get to say, Wow, I got to see so and so play. He’s one of those kind of guys.”Bryant fits that mold partly because he has overcome extensive injuries in his 19-year career. In the past two years, Bryant suffered season-ending injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee before eventually returning. last_img read more