Motiejunas: I have never met a person like Popovich before

2019-05-29T14:52:44+00:00 2019-05-29T14:55:02+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

29/May/19 14:52

The head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, certainly impressed Donatas Motiejunas.

By John Askounis/

After averaging over 25 points and 14 rebounds per game in the Chinese CBA, Donatas Motiejunas moved to the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs in early April. Interviewed by, the 28-year-old Lithuanian big summed up his 2018-19 campaign, discussed his relationship with Gregg Popovich and his next step.

The former Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans forward/center returned to the NBA and played eight games, three at the bottom end of the Regular Season and five in the Playoffs, but getting to know Coach Pop was an experience of its own. “I have never met a person of such personality before” he admitted and added: “It’s very difficult to compare him with anyone else.”

He was won over from the start, from his first meeting with the 70-year-old head coach. “For the first twenty minutes we were talking about my family and my child. We talked several times afterwards as well. It was the first time I felt this kind of attention. It’s hard to describe him. I actually have no words” he explained.

Popovich is of course well aware of Lithuanian basketball and the colors of the country’s flag. Motiejunas shared his coach’s unique approach towards him on the matter: “We sat down for lunch. He comes up with a plate of vegetables with colors similar to the Lithuanian flag and tells me we should only eat these.”

Asked about his future, he said: “My agent can’t talk with NBA teams until July 1st. However, I have a lot of options there. Chinese teams have already submitted offers. There also a few offers from EuroLeague sides. I had one of the best seasons of my career, so I am grateful to everyone who contributed.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images