Spurs miss the NBA playoffs for first time in two decades, and Gregg Popovich has a very Pop-like reaction

For the first time since “Titanic” was in theaters, the Spurs are sunk.

San Antonio hit an iceberg before it took the court Thursday when the Grizzlies and Suns both won, ending its more-than-two-decade streak of making the NBA playoffs, which was an impressive feat in its own right. The Spurs entered the NBA bubble on the outside looking in, and they needed a lot to break right for them to make it into the 2020 playoffs. The magic ran out as Memphis and Phoenix closed out their games.

To that end, one must feel for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who became the NBA’s winningest coach in 2019, for the way his season ended. But Popovich took it all in stride, and in typical Pop fashion, he spent some time messing with reporters before giving San Antonio fans some good news:

“Fake news,” he said.

Popovich said he’s returning to the Spurs’ bench for the 2020-21 NBA season, which will be his 25th year coaching the team, and he has a reason for returning: He praised the players’ effort inside the bubble, and he feels the future is bright in San Antonio.

Just for color, here’s what the world looked like in 1997, the last time the Spurs weren’t in the playoffs:

In any case, with as weird a season as it was, expect the Spurs to be more competitive in a less-weird 2020-21 season — and if his exit interview with reporters is any indication, expect the 71-year-old Popovich to be as Pop as ever.

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