AT&T Center – It’s game two in the opening round of the NBA playoffs between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers involved in a playoff series, what more drama could have been added to a series where the injured star declared not to tweet from home anymore because he was becoming a distraction?
How about a player who was supposed to be out for the rest of the season, making a surprise comeback just in time for game two, where the Spurs hold a 1-0 series lead.
That was the case on Wednesday evening as Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said center Jordan Hill, who had been recovering from left hip surgery, was cleared to play against the Spurs as early as Wednesday.
In the locker room, Hill himself said he was surprised the surgery allowed him to recover so quickly. “I thought it was over for the season,” said Hill. Even Hill’s teammates were surprised to hear the news that he could be available for their series.
On the opposite end of the arena, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovcih conducted his pregame interview in a livelier fashion than usual. How open was Popovich to questions? The interview lasted at least 10 minutes long and he discussed a variety of topics from his own players, when Tim Duncan might retire, how he felt about the Cleveland Cavaliers hiring Mike Brown, and more.
Here are a few of the highlight quotes from the interview. The rest can be found on my twitter stream.
Boris Diaw was in warm-ups. I asked Coach Pop if there's any chance he'll play in the series vs. the #Lakers, he said it's "doubtful."— Paul Garcia PS (@24writer) April 25, 2013
Pop on when Duncan retires sulia.com/my_thoughts/10…— Paul Garcia PS (@24writer) April 25, 2013
Pop was asked if anyone on his current roster might look into coaching once they retire. His response: "Why would they want to do that?"— Paul Garcia PS (@24writer) April 25, 2013