Prior to facing his former assistant coach Brett Brown this past weekend, Gregg Popovich admitted that he couldn’t do his buddy’s thankless and luckless job in Philadelphia.

Pop said he’d last just a few weeks coaching the Sixers, which the San Antonio Spurs held off 92-83 on Saturday.

Brown, though, loves his gig according to Popovich.

Per the Philly Daily News:

Popovich gave Brown his first job in the NBA, a newly-created position of director of player development. Brown’s passion and knowledge of the game turned that hire into a 12-year stint which produced many philosophical battles, a ton of wins and some NBA championships. […] Popovich’s team won their fifth title under his tutelage in 2014, while Brown has been mired in basketball hell during his three seasons in Philadelphia since leaving the place he calls Disney Land. Their basketball paths right now couldn’t be traveling in more opposite directions, but the bond they’ve formed hasn’t strained.

 

“After that, his work ethic. He’s the most positive person that I know,” said Popovich. “I honestly don’t know who else could be in Philadelphia doing what he’s doing. I couldn’t do it. I’d last a month. Two years ago, I mean. A month. Not in the third year.

 

“And honest to God, he loves coaching that team. He actually enjoys coaching those guys in a modest, sincere way. Because what he’s all about, basically, is not skipping steps, setting standards. He knows the way to do things. He communicates great and it all shows in the way that those guys play. Those are not the most talented players in the world and five or six of his best players aren’t there. I’m watching them play Oklahoma (Friday) night and watching play their other games and those guys play from the first minute to the 48th minute. That’s really a testament to him. In the league when you lose a lot of games, guys are going to tank. Often. And these guys just keep playing at a certain level and at a certain standard. The fact that they’re not as skilled as players on some other teams is irrelevant. Work ethic is a tribute to their character and Brett’s ability to keep them fighting for a standard and trying to progress. I think he’s incredible. I don’t say that because I’m trying to make him look good or because he’s my buddy or anything like that. It’s really true. They’re lucky to have him there.”