Gregg Popovich denies interest in presidential run with Steve Kerr, though pair continue to speak out

Gregg Popovich has repeatedly stated that he has no interest in running against Donald Trump for president of the United States.

Yet every time the San Antonio Spurs coach speaks out on anything other than basketball — like he did in February while discussing the NBA’s promotion of Black History Month — that idea quickly resurfaces like clockwork.

The same goes for Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who holds similar political and social values and often speaks his mind on topics unrelated to basketball or the NBA. Just days after the mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead, Kerr was blunt in his criticism of elected officials.

The Popovich/Kerr ticket in 2020, which seems to be growing support every day, is something that many NBA fans — and even just the average American — seem to be entertaining at least on some level. There are even multiple websites that are encouraging them to run, and even selling campaign style merchandise.

Yet the pair running for political office doesn’t seem to be one that will happen any time soon.

“Both [Kerr and I] realize that we’re not built or qualified for such an office, nor do we desire it,” Popovich told The Bay Area News Group on Thursday.

But after the way the previous election went — with a business man and reality television host rising to the highest office in the Untied States — many are saying that it’s possible for Popovich to succeed were he to run.

“Honestly, would Popovich being president be crazier than Donald Trump being president? I don’t think so,” Daniel Dale, the Washington bureau chief for the Toronto Star, told CBS Sports in November. “I think it’s much crazier that Donald Trump is president, given what we know about his past and how he behaved during the campaign. Obviously it’s highly speculative, it’s very unlikely, but I don’t think we can write it off.”

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Gregg Popovich through his career
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Gregg Popovich through his career
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks to the media during a press conference after Game Four of the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2017 AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (R) chats with Spurs guard Antonio Daniels during the team's practice at New York's Madison Square Garden, June 22. The Spurs lost Game Three of the 1999 NBA Finals to the New York Knicks 89-81 at the Garden on June 21, and now hold a 2-1 lead in the series with Game Four on June 23. MS/BM
San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich holds the NBA Championship trophy in the Spurs' locker room after the Spurs defeated the Knicks 78-77 in Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals to win the NBA Championship, June 25. The Spurs won the series four games to one. RFS/HB
San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich gets pulled back by assistant coaches Mike Budenholzer (L) and Hank Egan (C) after the Spurs were called with a second half foul during the Western Conference Playoffs Semifinal Round Game 2 at the Alamodome, May 7, 2001. Popovich was ejected from the game after receiving his second technical. AL/ME
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich yells at an official during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at the Alamodome in San Antonio, May 19, 2001. JM/SV
San Antonio Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich (L) talks to guards Tony Parker (R) Steve Smith (C) during the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals May 5, 2002 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Lakers defeated Popovich's Spurs 86-80, to take the first game of the seven game series. REUTERS/Mike Blake MB
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich gestures on the sidelines during Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets in San Antonio, Texas June 15, 2003. REUTERS/Mike Blake RTW/GAC
Los Angeles Lakers fan and actor Jack Nicholson (R) reacts to a foul called against the Lakers as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich guides his team during Game 6 of their NBA Western Conference semifinal in Los Angeles May 15, 2004. [The Lakers lead the defending NBA Champions 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.]
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks to the press during practice sessions at the 2005 NBA Finals in San Antonio, Texas, June 11, 2005. The Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons 84-69 in Game 1 and lead the best-of-seven series 1-0 with Game 2 scheduled for June 12. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell JM/MSF
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (L) talks to guard Manu Ginobili during a timeout in the first half against the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the 2005 NBA Finals in San Antonio, Texas June 12, 2005. The Spurs lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson JM/VP
Spurs head coach Popovich talks with Duncan on the bench near the end of Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Auburn Hills. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (R) talks with Tim Duncan (L) on the bench near the end of Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Auburn Hills, Michigan, June 16, 2005. Detroit beat San Antonio 102-71 to even the series two games each. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich yells at official Bennett Salvatore to dispute a call during the fourth quarter of NBA play against the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis February 12, 2006. Popovich's Spurs won the game 92-88. REUTERS/Brent Smith
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich looks on as his team plays the Phoenix Suns during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semifinal basketball playoffs in San Antonio, Texas May 12, 2007. REUTERS/Joe Mitchell (UNITED STATES)
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich smiles as he answers a question during media availability for their NBA Finals basketball series against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Ohio, June 13, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts in the second half of Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series against the Phoenix Suns in San Antonio, Texas May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
San Antonio Spurs and Western conference head coach Gregg Popovich answers a question during media availability for the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston, Texas, February 15, 2013. The All-Star game will be played on February 17. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (R) speaks with player Tony Parker (C), who injured his hamstring during Game 3, as teammate Tim Duncan ties his shoelace during practice for their NBA Finals basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat in San Antonio, Texas June 12, 2013. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich directs his team against the Miami Heat during the second quarter in Game 5 of their NBA Finals basketball series in San Antonio, Texas, June 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Jan 17, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts after being called for a technical foul during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 22, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich responds to questions from reporters during a news conference where he was named the NBA Coach of the Year at Spurs Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich during practice before game one of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich reacts to ball during the second quarter against the Miami Heat in game two of the 2014 NBA Finals at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan talks with head coach Gregg Popovich during a practice for their NBA Finals basketball series against the Miami Heat in San Antonio, Texas June 7, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Jun 10, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to the media prior to game three of the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich waves to the fans during the NBA championship parade at San Antonio River Walk. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to the crowd during NBA championship celebrations at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver during a ceremony before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; NBA ESPN sideline reporter J.A. Adande interviews San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich during the second half against the Boston Celtics at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (left) reacts against the Denver Nuggets during the second half at the AT&T Center. The Spurs won 121-97. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) talks with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (R) after game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) and head coach Gregg Popovich (R) walk off the court after defeating the Houston Rockets in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
SAN ANTONIO, TX - SEPTEMBER 25: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs poses for a head shot during media day in San Antonio, Texas at AT&T Center on September 25, 2017. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Kerr said that playing for Popovich — which he did in the late 1990s and early 2000s — was completely different than playing for any other coach. Popovich was always encouraging his players to step up and express their views outside of basketball, even separating players into groups based on their stances on a political candidate or a tax increase, for example.

Kerr, Popovich said, always spoke up when discussions arose about non-basketball issues, which is where their friendship took off.

“That’s where it started and we just continued from there,” Popovich said. “We’ll text each other right now when something will happen or something will be said by the current administration that’s just mind-blowing and nobody does anything about it. The congressmen are all sitting on their thumbs afraid of him. It always intrigues us.”

The two coaches will face off on Thursday night in Oakland, something that has never been easy for either of them. Popovich even said it’s a little awkward, simply because he hates to see Kerr ever lose.

Regardless of their futures in the NBA or otherwise, the two don’t see their bond dying down anytime soon.

“We will talk and text long after we’re both done coaching,” Kerr said. “He will remain one of my best friends.”

Just don’t expect them to be in the White House any time soon.

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