Heavy respect from 4-time world champion head coach, Greg Popvich…
MySA.com: Popovich watched the Lakers victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, including Kobe Bryant’s 18-point fourth quarter that followed a trash-talking contest with Rockets defensive ace Ron Artest.
His players, he said, knew better than to antagonize Bryant.
“We don’t want any Artest stuff,” he said before tipoff. “Don’t even look him in the eye.
“My guys are pretty smart. They just go play. They don’t get involved in that (bleep)-chat.”
Popovich spoke about Bryant’s fourth-quarter performance in Houston in reverential tones.
“I had the sense the whole game he was just biding his time,” Popovich said. “He was checking out what needed to be done, as he does so well — picking his spots and keeping everybody involved, and when the time came and it was real close, he just buried some shots that were incredible.
“He just took over and ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.’
The Spurs coach compared Bryant favorably to Bulls great Michael Jordan.
“A lot of guys can play their whole career and they can’t pick their spots and know what’s going on out on the court,” he said. “He’s a special player. He’s like Michael in that sense. He understands everything that’s going on and what’s needed to go win, and he has the ability to do it in so many different ways, whether it’s defense, or a board, or an assist or a shot or a drive.
“That’s why he is who he is.”