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“I hate it, but I always have. I’ve hated the three 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 four-point play. Because if everybody likes the three, they’ll really like the four. People will jump out of their seats if you have a five-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.“
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry weighed in on Instagram with his thoughts about Popovich’s comments.
This isn’t the first time Popovich has expressed disdain for the long-range jumper.
“I still hate it. I’ll never embrace it,” he told reporters in December 2015. “I don’t think it’s basketball. I think it’s kind of like a circus sort of thing.”
Popovich added that the league might as well consider a five-point shot or a seven-pointer, a thought he echoed in March 2016.
The Spurs are tied for 28th in made three-pointers (9.4 per game), which is where they finished a season ago (8.5). Even when San Antonio had a healthy Kawhi Leonard in 2016-17, it was tied for 16th in three-point makes (9.2).
Pro Basketball Talk’s Dan Feldman noted the Spurs have generally finished below the league average in three-pointers recently. That may be more indicative of the team’s personnel rather than Popovich letting his beliefs influence his decision-making.
Granted, one could argue building an offense partly around Aldridge and Gasol is archaic.
Whether he likes it or not, Popovich will be well aware contending for a title is extremely difficult in the modern game without some reliance on the three-pointer.