Why Spurs' Popovich says Mavs are not world champions
Just call them champs: Recall that a few days before the season, Mavericks forward Shawn Marion said that the national media wasn't showing the Mavericks proper respect in the wake of their first NBA title.
"I want y'all to address me like that from now on -- world champion," Marion said that day.
Well, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has a pet peeve about people interchanging "NBA" and "world" in front of "champion."
True world champions, Popovich points out, are teams that win the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) tournament played in non-Olympic years.
"Those guys are world champions, but the Dallas Mavericks and Spurs and Lakers and Miami, whatever, are NBA champions," Popovich said. Popovich, who has won four NBA championships, said before Thursday night's game that he was unaware of Marion's request to be addressed as world champion.
"I'll have to tell him tonight," Popovich said. "I sent him a note [this summer] to congratulate him, but he isn't a world champion."