The Spurs coach brought a dose of perspective about how basketball fits into the world.

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This is what you call perspective.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich — when asked about how he endured the death of his wife, the Kawhi Leonard soap opera and his team’s downturn last season — merely responded: “When you say we’ve endured, this is basketball. We’re playing a child’s game and getting paid for it. If you look at what’s going on in the world, there are billions of people enduring. We aren’t enduring anything.”

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming of divas, whiners and malcontents.

Chuck and duck

Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley finished dead last at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, but at least his wild tee shots were memorable.

The words “get down!” hadn’t been uttered this much since the disco era.

Pearl of wisdom

“Rocky Mountain Oysters” is among the five finalists to replace SkySox as the nickname of Colorado Springs’ minor-league baseball team.

If Oysters gets chosen, “Hit the cutoff man!” ought to be a popular yell.

Whoa there, Bryce

So, there’s talk that Bryce Harper cheated to win the Home Run Derby because his pitcher-father didn’t wait for balls to land before throwing his next pitch?

That’s a first — someone saying baseball could use some slowdown rules.

Rookie alert

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and model wife Kate Upton are expecting their first child.

In lieu of Johnson’s baby powder, they plan to use a rosin bag.

Baseball quiz

Brewers reliever Josh Hader reacted to his just-uncovered racist and homophobic tweets from his teen years by saying:

a) “No excuses. I was dumb and stupid.”

b) “This Hader ain’t gonna hate.”

Fire alarm

Chelsea is about to be on its 11th manager since 2007 after firing Antonio Conte.

“What’s so strange about that?” asked Chelsea GM Nigel Steinbrenner.

Survey says …

Detroit and Cleveland came in Nos. 1 and 3 in’s latest rankings of America’s most-stressed cities.

People cheer for the Lions and Browns there. Any further questions?

Shorts stop

The minor-league Savannah Bananas’ rained-out game against the rival Macon Bacon — in which Bananas players will wear kilts — has been rescheduled for Wednesday, July 25.

But why stop there? Kilt the umpire!

Skunked in Reno

A skunk ran across the outfield Monday night during a Pacific Coast League game in Reno.

For some strange reason, groundskeepers, security officers and other potential first responders made themselves scarce.

Talking the talk

• Vegas Mike Davis, on Twitter, after Murray State named Velvet Milkman as its athletic director: “And just like that a garage band was born.”

• Josh Kuh, on Twitter, when SB Nation asked readers to name their favorite sports rivalry: “The Mariners and the playoffs.”

• Comedy writer Jerry Perisho, on the pending Verlander-Upton arrival: “Doctors anticipate a headfirst slide.”

Pare Bryant

Delta Air Lines says it will trim some underperforming routes because of rising prices.

Kind of like the Cowboys did with Dez Bryant.


Ex-NBA player Charles Oakley was arrested on a gambling-fraud charge at a Las Vegas casino after allegedly getting caught on camera trying to take back a $100 chip from a losing hand.

Which probably means he’s not known in betting circles as Ante Oakley.

Why, of course

From the Sometimes These Items Just Write Themselves File comes word that Eagles coach Doug Pedersen scored — what else? — an eagle during the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament.

“Sign me up for next year,” said Bill Laimbeer, coach of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Where’s my juice box?

France’s Kylian Mbappe, 19, notched a 65th-minute goal in last Sunday’s 4-2 win over Croatia to become the youngest player since Pele did so in 1958 to score in the World Cup final.

Not that he’s young or anything, but Mbappe immediately dedicated his historic score to mom’s halftime orange slices.

Tankards aweigh

Marines are the heaviest drinkers in the military, according to a new study.

Except, perhaps, for those three hours during the Army-Navy game.

Give him a brake

NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., in the wake of the huge wreck he touched off at Daytona earlier this month, said Cup points leader Kyle Busch needs to stop “running his mouth.”

In other words, install a restrictor plate.

He was fried

Police in Fort Pierce, Fla., arrested John Mathews, 41, for disorderly intoxication after Mathews menacingly swung his boat anchor and cursed at high volume when another beachgoer allegedly ruined the chicken he was grilling.

Prosecutors are reportedly pushing for jail time, court costs and anchor-management classes.

One at a time, please

Several players from Louisville’s 2013 national-championship basketball team are suing the NCAA for stripping them of their title because an assistant coach hired strippers to entice recruits.

Lost in the fine print: They not only want their championship back, but any punitive damages to be paid in $1 bills, please.

Get a whiff of this

“As for Exhibit A on why the National League might want to consider the DH,” wrote Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, “consider that pitchers are hitting .113 this season.”

Quote marks

• Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone, to NBATV, on today’s NBA: “Tell me when they run a play. Who’s coaching? Tell me five coaches in the NBA. … When is someone going to lift some weights around this place?”

• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, to, when asked what went wrong with Kawhi Leonard: “I am not too interested in talking about the past. I don’t even want to talk about Tim Duncan.”

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, after Aaron Gordon said signing his four-year, $76 million contract with the Magic “brought tears to my eyes”: “The first confirmed case of someone who actually was crying all the way to the bank.”

• TBS’s Conan O’Brien, on the massive protests that greeted President Trump on his trip overseas: “Of course, it didn’t help that Trump arrived in England wearing a Croatian soccer jersey.”

• Jim Barach of, on LaVar Ball saying that, in his prime, he could have beaten LeBron James one-on-one: “Mostly because in his prime he was 25 years old and James would have then been 8.”

Tweet of the Week

From Mets fan Allison Caskey:

“Guys: I wish more women liked sports.

“Us: Hey, I like baseball.

“Guys: Oh, then who was pitching for the Red Sox on June 23, 1972?”

Quote, end quote

• Bob Molinaro, in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on the rule requiring every MLB team to be represented on All-Star rosters: “It’s baseball’s twist on the participation trophy.”

• Janice Hough of, after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says Mike Trout would be a bigger star if he marketed himself: “What about if ESPN and Fox showed other teams beside the Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs?”

• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, via Twitter, on hosting ex-NBAer Chris “Birdman” Andersen in-studio for his radio show: “I now have six tattoos by osmosis.”

• Jack Finarelli of, waiting for another shoe to drop after the Atlanta Hawks traded for Carmelo Anthony: “They need Carmelo Anthony about as much as I need to listen to Mark Emmert read a prepared statement on ‘the student-athlete.’ ”

• Brad Rock of Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, on the news that more words beginning with the letter O are the ones most misspelled at the National Spelling Bee: “Remember, that’s Olbermann with two N’s.”