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Published on May 27, 2024
San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich Cheers On Rival Dallas Mavericks in NBA Finals QuestSource: Wikipedia/Gregg Popovich

In an unexpected show of cross-town camaraderie, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has thrown his support behind his team's long-standing rivals, the Dallas Mavericks, in their pursuit of an NBA Finals berth. "Go Mavs! Come on, Mark! Kick ass," declared Popovich, rooting for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and his squad, who are now one victory away from clinching a finals spot, as KENS5 reported.

Despite their past friction that has seen the Mavericks and Spurs clashing repeatedly in high-stakes games, with Popovich at the helm during San Antonio's title runs, their respective fanbases maintain an intense rivalry. In 2014, Mark Cuban sparked controversy by sniping at San Antonio's Riverwalk and suggesting that the animosity Spurs fans have for Mavericks supporters might surpass their own, according to a Dallas Morning News interview shared by Cuban himself. However, Popovich's latest comments suggest the bitter rivalry has not soured his respect for the competition.

As noted by Athlon Sports, the veteran coach's 22 consecutive postseason appearances and five NBA championship rings lend significant weight to his playoff opinions. And with San Antonio out of the playoff picture this year, Popovich is clear on who he wants to see hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy: "Go Mavs!" he exclaimed in a video shared by Daymond John of Shark Tank fame.

The Mavericks, buoyed by the talents of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, are poised to complete a sweep of the Minnesota Timberwolves, leading the series 3-0. Popovich, now watching from the sidelines, has overseen his own team's transition with hopes pinned on young star Victor Wembanyama following in the legendary footsteps of Tim Duncan. Not to be sidelined, both the future of the Spurs and the current success of the Mavericks signal a revival of Texas basketball's fortunes, as echoed by Athlon Sports, with the Houston Rockets also surging in the league.