But after his team defeated the visiting Phoenix Suns, 112-95, Sunday night, the coach figured it wouldn’t be the right time to talk basketball, either. Not after 26 people lost their lives when a gunman opened fire on First Baptist Church in nearby Sutherland Springs, Texas.
And he politely but firmly told reporters so.
“We won a basketball game but considering what’s gone on today, it’s pretty meaningless,” he said. “When you think about the tragedy that those families are suffering, it’s just inconceivable and impossible to put your head around. So I think talking about basketball tonight is probably pretty inappropriate. You guys have a good night.”
One of Popovich’s players was particularly vocal in addressing the tragedy before the game. Pau Gasol, a native of Spain, said that “something has to change.”
“At what point do we say enough?” Gasol, a veteran center, asked, per MySanAntonio.com. “I don’t know. Again, I know it’s a delicate subject but I hate for innocent people to get killed and for families to pay that price and carry that burden for the rest of their life. It’s sad. It’s really sad. It needs to be addressed. I hope that it is. I hope we see change and progress to prevent this from happening so often.”
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.