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Popovich calls President George H.W. Bush 'inspiration' for Spurs youth league

Spurs take on Portland Sunday evening

President George H.W. Bush gives a thumb-up as he and Mrs. Barbara Bush board Air Force One on Thursday, Feb. 27, 1992 at Kelly Air force base in San Antonio, Texas. President Bush hosted a two-day seven-nation drug summit which ended Thursday. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
President George H.W. Bush gives a thumb-up as he and Mrs. Barbara Bush board Air Force One on Thursday, Feb. 27, 1992 at Kelly Air force base in San Antonio, Texas. President Bush hosted a two-day seven-nation drug summit which ended Thursday. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Spurs will be trying to end a two-game losing funk when they host the Portland Trailblazers in the AT&T Center on Sunday evening.

For the first time in years, the Spurs are in next-to-last place in the Western Conference after two straight 30-point-plus losses.

"Obviously, we were pretty discombobulated the last couple of games, so we'll hope we can get a little more rhyme and reason to what we do," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich before tip-off.

The Spurs were actually able to get in a solid practice Saturday, which should help at least get people on the same page.

"Get on the same page so we understand what we are trying to do, what we are trying to accomplish," Popovich said.

There are a couple of changes in the starting lineup, as Davis Bertans will get the start for the Spurs. 

In another change, they warmed up at the other end of the court from where they usually get ready for a game.

The visiting teams pick the end where they want to begin the game, maybe that move played right into the Spurs hands since they are looking for some kind of edge.

POPOVICH ON PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH:

One thing Popovich did address before the game was the loss of former president George H.W. Bush. 

Back in 1992, the then-President Bush and the first lady Barbara Bush, made a trip to San Antonio as Popovich and the Spurs were starting their youth basketball league.

"It was his inspiration with 'a thousand points of light.' We were really happy to be one of those and do that work," Popovich said. "The highlight really was when he and his wife came down to San Antonio, spent part of his day watching games and seeing the kids, and we got to talk to him."

Popovich had praise for Bush for the way he carried himself that day and throughout his presidency.

"He was one of our really classy presidents who did things for other people, he really cared about other people more than anything else," said Popovich. "Just a good-hearted guy."

Popovich even recalled some of the players on the team that year: David Robinson, Rod Strickland, Willie Anderson, Terry Cummings and Greg "Cadillac" Anderson.

The youth basketball league that was started back then is still going strong today.


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