Teammates: Danny Green on the Spurs
January, 18, 2013
By Jared Zwerling | ESPN The Magazine
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images"Coach is a funny guy," says Danny Green of Gregg Popovich. "Pop is very sarcastic and he tells a lot of jokes.""The Big Fundamental," better known as future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan, represents what the San Antonio Spurs have been about for a long time: tradition.
They've had the same jerseys for more than 20 years, you hardly hear a peep of any infraction from within the team -- resting star players doesn't count -- and they don't look to draw attention to themselves beyond the game.
They've even taken unique steps to reduce their off-court risks. For example, the team once instituted a no-high-fives policy during cold and flu season to prevent Spurs players from coming in contact with fans and potentially getting sick.
"Our team is probably one of the swag-less teams, but we're just efficient," fourth-year guard Danny Green told ESPN Playbook. "Our organization is a little different. We don't have a lot of characters. We're very laid-back and very professional. We're not one of those teams that does a lot of stuff with a lot of flair. We're very simple."
But with four championships since 1999 and continued success -- they have a 30-11 record going into Friday night's matchup with the Golden State Warriors -- don't let the Spurs' poker-faced public image fool you. The Spurs are not that boring. There's more going on behind the scenes in San Antonio than you think, and it's about time you know about it.
Speaking with ESPN Playbook this week, Green, the Spurs' starting shooting guard, highlighted some of his most interesting teammates:
Best dancer: "A lot of the guys on the team have rhythm, so I'm sure if they went out, they'd kick it a little bit. But it's hard to say. I've never seen any of the guys really dance much. We don't go out much."
Best dressed: "The better-dressed guys on our team are probably Patty Mills and Stephen Jackson. Those guys dress up and have different outfits. Most of the guys don't really dress up as much. Patty is more of a European style; Jack likes to do a lot of different stuff. He's a rap artist, he does music, he does a lot of different things off the court. He has many different styles. He likes to call himself the 'Jack of All Trades,' which he can do."
Best nickname: "We call Boris [Diaw] 'Boudini' after Houdini because he's really good at passing the ball. I think Jack was the one that started calling him that. Patty Mills, they call him many different things. They call him 'Balla.' He says that all the time; that's his whole thing. If you see his Twitter and everything, he uses 'Balla' a lot. They also call him 'Machine Gun' because he has a quick trigger. He's got a couple of nicknames from different people."
Coolest car: "Timmy [Duncan] has his own auto shop now. He does it all. He soups [the cars] up, paints them -- I'm pretty sure he does it all. It just opened up like a month ago. He's big on that stuff; so is Jack. He's definitely got some cool cars. He has a nice little Rolls-Royce and some nice Ferraris, and stuff like that. I think Patty Mills is trying to get a nice little shiny race car that just came out."
Funniest: "Coach [Gregg Popovich] is a funny guy. He's a character. Pop is very sarcastic, and he tells a lot of jokes."
Most unique off-court talent: "I know Boris takes a lot of pictures. I couldn't tell you his style, but he says he shoots animals for now. He travels a lot. I know Timmy's into a lot of different stuff; so is Jack. Manu [Ginobili] is big on statistics. Obviously Jack is into the studio and his music. Patty's got a little guitar now. He's trying to learn how to play an instrument. A lot of guys watch a lot of movies. I eat, sleep and watch movies. I like all types. I recently just saw 'A Haunted House.' It was kind of funny."
Standout musical collection: "I would say Stephen Jackson, who's a rapper and he's big into music. Patty Mills is big into music. DeJuan Blair has his own little collection, too."