Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 11:30 am  |  88 responses

Gregg Popovich’s Newest Complaint: Wording on the Celtics’ Title Banner

by Marcel Mutoni

Last year, Gregg Popovich famously voiced his displeasure when the Lakers hoodwinked Memphis into trading Pau Gasol for virtually nothing. Well, it’s a new season, and Pop has a new complaint.

Gregg would like to know why the Celtics insist on calling themselves “World Champions”, when in fact, they’re just lowly NBA champs. From the Dallas Morning News:

“There’s no such thing,” he said. “Why can’t we just be happy with ‘the NBA champions.’ That’s pretty cool.

In the middle of the Celtics’ [banner], it says: World Champions in giant letters and Boston Celtics up [on top]. In the middle, in little teeny letters, NBA. In brackets. What is that? Ashamed to be in the NBA. Or, I know it’s really the NBA championship, but I’m going to go ahead and say world championship anyway. I don’t understand it.”

“And another thing that’s been getting on my nerves of late: whenever we travel to different cities, the staff at the various hotels never remembers to leave a mint on my pillow. I mean, what is that? I don’t understand it,” Pop did not necessarily add.

With a team struggling mightily to get out of the blocks in the early going, you’d think the man would have other things on his mind. And of course, you’d be wrong.

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  • Orlando Green

    hoodwinked ……ahaha…I love it….

  • Orlando Green

    Gregg needs to concentrate on his 0-3 start…

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Marcel, have you been reading the Fiver? You’re using one of their classic techniques. Either way, funny stuff as always.

  • neaorin

    Nobody tell Pop about the World Series.

  • http://www.ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    I agree wit POP. been saying this all along.

  • http://www.ngunioamosotho.com Nguni

    i love pop, sometimes.

  • KA

    pop = badass no. 2. 1st is sloan.

  • Milan

    Ben, that’s true, it is a Fiver classic technique.

    And Pop has a point, it is a bit arrogant that teams in some American sports called themselves the World champions, at least luckily no one in the MLS is doing that.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    USA=World Champs. Also, that’s just what the NBA calls it, the world championship. What do the Spurs banners say?

  • jay

    the other teams seem to be trying to outscore us when we play them. What is that? Ashamed to be losers?

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    Pop should take it easy and maybe focus on winning some games and trying to get back to a point when people would again consider his Spurs the world champs. But for now, the reality is that last years celts (and this years too) would smash the spurs and any other worldly competition.

  • nate j

    ya, i wonder what the spurs banner says.
    im pretty sure the same thing. but who really cares? let them call them what they want.
    i think pop needs to focus on his 0-3 start also.
    i think he should start doing some trades. switching things up like in D-town.

  • John

    I’m with Pop on this one

  • http://myspace.com Bryan

    F*ck Pop.

  • Reality Screws

    I’ve been complaining about that too, but I would like to see the Spurs banners..

  • Exile

    I’m with Pop… and co-sign KA

  • http://AllAbout-Penis-Enlargement.com Jukai

    How about when ANOTHER team beats us in the Olympics, we’ll change the banner that year, eh? Eh?

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    words words words!

  • jaywhy

    santa is p!ssed

  • Milan

    For those wondering, Spurs banners say NBA champions.

  • YesObamaYes

    USA=Olympic champs not World champs Mo Charlo… And it’s true, we won the Olympics. But when they kicked our sorry asses in the World Championship, we still had those “World Champions” banners for the NBA Champs. Embarrasing

  • http://slamonline.com RV

    i think hehas a point, not sure why people are hating on him for saying it, he’s been saying it for a while now and the Spurs’ banners say NBa champs..

  • solito

    The NBA is so strong, no natinoal team would get the NBA Title, so the Celtics SHOULD be proud of the fact, and drop the “World”. Barak Obama doesn’t call himsefl the World President because he won the election in the US, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you for sure that he is HAPPY to be US President!

  • ciolkstar

    popp reminds me so much of my boss, its not even funny.

  • ciolkstar

    ALSO DID EBOY WIN THIOSE KG SNEAKERS!?! Shoudn’t be considered a SLAM employee by now and considered ineligible? No hate. I just wanted to win em myself…

  • peteb80

    Spain=World Champs. Let’s not rewrite history here.

  • http://slamonline.com RV

    WTF….that comment i wrote wasn’t entered in the middle of these post, i wrote that after BEt’s 12:27 comment….

  • http://slamonline.com RV


  • Cizzo


  • riggs

    the beard must have a mind of its own.

  • Marcel Mutoni

    @ Ben: i have no idea what this ‘fiver’ that you speak of is, but i’m now intrigued. to the internet!

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    The best players in the world play in the NBA. Why shouldn’t they call themselves world champions? Just because it doesn’t say a country’s name on your jersey doesn’t mean the NBA doesn’t pit the most skilled players in the world against each other.

  • tealish

    That European commenter who loves to kill the NBA game and argue that Ginoblli and Gasol belong in the World’s top 3 is going to love this.

  • Mark Z

    Pop, go find a decent barber. That’s MY complaint.

  • witness

    i hate the spurs. but i dont wanna see em go out this way.
    what do yall think about them trading manu for joe johnson?

  • Kostas Koufos

    WORLD CHAMPS: SPAIN (up until 2010)
    OLYMPIC CHAMPS: USA (up until 2012)
    NBA CHAMPS: CELTICS (up until June)
    @Jukai…..:brilliant,..just brilliant!!!!
    @tealish….:for sure….by the way:Ginobili is top-5 (this become clearer with every passing Spurs game..) and Gasol top-12.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what….:you really think the Celtics have any chance against team U.S.A or team SPAIN in a 7 game series…?Really…?!!!!
    W-A-K-E U-P!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Kostas, yes, I think the Celtics would beat Team Spain. I think the Lakers would too. Put it this way: would the Lakers trade Kobe, Bynum, Odom, Farmar, and Vujacic for Marc Gasol, Calderon, Navarro, Garbajosa, and the draft rights to Ricky Rubio? I don’t think so.

  • http://slamonline.com Josh D

    You know what, i agree with pop i live in Britain, and when i heard that the nba champions were called world champions, i thought it made no sense at all, they would have to play teams from other countries(other than canada) to earn this title

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what….:the Lakers wouldn’t trade Kobe’s marketability for nobody in the world. The would trade the others easily….i like the fact that you were so easy to pick against Spain (best team in the world for the last 4 years by the way…)while they were a missed three pointer from Himenez away to make it a last shoot game (at least Bill Walton and Bill Simmons were able to observe this,…but what they know,…they never played NBA 2K9…). We will never know but i find it reasonable to think that a team that was basically equal with a team U.S.A that gave it all, would propably have more or less the same results with U.S.A against the Celtics or whoever….

  • Kostas Koufos

    Playing with international rules:

    U.S.A – CELTICS: 4-0
    SPAIN – CELTICS: 4-0
    AUSTRALIA – CELTICS: 4-3 or 3-4

    (laugh as much as you want…)

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    @ Kostas. The Celtics could probably beat TEAM USA in a one-off. Basketball is a team sport and the Celts would just be too cohesive. It’s like if you threw Man U or Real in a World Cup. They’d prolly win just because they’re so used to play together.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @Z….:in football, as you know, not always the best team wins. In bball ,almost always the best wins…they wouldn’t even come close to beat a focused team U.S.A since a team more cohesive and talented than Celtics(SPAIN) couldn’t do so: too much talent in the part of U.S. but basically the only player that can carry a team in the end in the way Manu and Dirk can: f….n Kobe. I am telling you, the moment i heard he was joining the team i knew it was propably over…and it was demonstrated in the final. If Kobe is slightly better than the second best in the NBA (let’s say Duncan) he is head and shoulders above anybody when they play an organized-no mistakes(international) game…he is like Yasikevicious with american athletisism:The whole package.

  • Fitzy

    i have a complaint, popps needs to shave that god damn beard off his face

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I’m only “picking against Spain” because you brought them up, and because they are the best national team other than Team USA. All those other teams you mentioned would get their azzes kicked even harder by the Celtics. I mean for crying out loud, Joe Johnson wasn’t even on the 2008 Olympic team, and he’s better than everyone on Spain’s team.

  • Jess

    I agree and have been saying this forever – NBA champs – not world champs…but what we should all be focusing on is AI not being able to wear #3….

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    I’m glad you mentioned “cohesion”, because that and FIBA rules are the only reason Team USA doesn’t blow out every international team by 50 points or more.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what……:there are 10 players currently playing at the Spanish league better than Joe..i bet you don’t remember Joe’s showing at the world’s 2006….ok,he should be better than Navaro in the NBA LIVE 2009 but he would never do what Juan did to team U.S. at the finals of Beijing…..

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    How about holding one international tournament with NBA rules and see how Navarro and his pals fare. NBA players are at a competitive disadvantage in international play having to adjust to a set of rules they otherwise never play under. This has nothing to do with fundamentals either, as the Big Fundamental himself hates FIBA play because of this. Find me even one basketball scout that thinks Navarro is better than Joe Johnson. Just one.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what….:i am dreaming for the day when people with your bball understanding instead of Colangelo’s will pick players for team U.S.A…..(IVERSON!!!IVERSON!!!IVERSON!!!IVERSON!!!). Whatever, if Kobe doesn’t play in Turkey ,team U.S.A comes back to reality….

  • Kostas Koufos

    Joe is (propably) better than Navaro for NBA ball but he is worse for the game played in the biggest stages in the world: WORLDCHAMPIONSHIP & OLYMPICS.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    And I just brought up Joe Johnson because I’m a Hawks fan. I could have just as easily substituted Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Baron Davis, Monta Ellis or any number of other NBA stars in his place. There’s a reason why the Jasikeviciuses and Navarros of the world come to the NBA, completely suck, and go back to Euroleague, whereas even past their prime NBA players like Dominique Wilkins can go overseas and have success against the same players who lead their respective national teams.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Probably wasn’t fair to say Navarro completely sucked in the NBA, but the point is very few of these FIBA stars are anything more than role players in the NBA.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what…..:Baron Davis & Monta Ellis (& IVERSON) wouldn’t even be on the bench of Olympiakos or Panathinaikos or CSKA….i am sure you wrote their names just for fun…

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Olympiakos? The same team that gave a bench player for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference an unprecedented contract? That team? Put the crack pipe down buddy.

  • LA Huey

    I respect what Pop is saying. But the best team in the world isn’t decided in a single-game elimination tournament. And that argument about Spain being World Champs until 2010? Weak. Just because that’s the name of your tournament it means the winner gets that title?

  • Kostas Koufos

    @what…….:check my 5:47 comment(in my dreams…)
    REAL-JUVENTOUS :0-2 .Del Piero at 34 is still magnificent !!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Glad to see you have run out of arguments to justify your hopelessly wrong position.

  • Kostas Koufos

    LA Huey….:now think about when not even the name of your tournament indicates such a thing…..once more,untill the kids wake-grow up:

  • Kostas Koufos

    by the way…:does it ever cross your mind that there is a slight possibility a guy like Pop knowing more about you…?
    Good night kids….

  • Placktose

    Why dont they settle this with a international club tournament just like in soccer to truly see who the world champs are?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Actually, I would love to see the NBA champion play the Euroleague champion at the end of their respective seasons every year. I think it would conclusively and definitively silence people like Kostas.

  • Placktose

    I also don’t understand why they don’t play NBA rules in the international game. I mean didn’t the Americans invent basketball? And it would also make the transition into the NBA game easier for international players.

  • LA Huey

    @ what

    I think you’re wrong. Did you not see the edit? Since he’s no longer in the L, SLAM forgot about Josh Childress when making their Top 50 list. They updated it. Kobe and LBJ come in after Olympiakos’ new addition. :(

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Well, that’s how all the old banners were, so you don’t wanna break tradition.

  • Young Chris MP3

    I would put my money on the Celtics winning the Olympics. They had the right role-players and their three star-players that were (each) better than anyone on any of the other teams. Part of the reason Team USA has struggled is because they didn’t have players who fit the right roles in recent years. And google “Laker championship banner” and you’ll find that they also have “World Champions” on theirs as well.

  • Young Chris MP3

    Whatever they’re smoking in Kosta’s country must be REALLY good.

  • ab_40

    this is over a week old… they were saying this at the boston cleveland game… and I know CSKA moscow can’t beat the celts in a 7 game series but spain? in a 7 game series tough call.

    And if were talking about rule changes… get the euro hand checking rules and take down the defensive 3 secconds so there can be zone defenses, the grabbing of the rebounds should not be legal but offensive goaltending? that should be deleted. ah well

  • Placktose

    haha ab if they get rid of goal tending and defensive 3 american teams could just get there best shot blocker to stand under the ring and wait for the ball and swat it away, but i agree with the other rules

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    “And when we run up the opposite end of the floor to fouls shaq just because we in the penalty and he cant shoot free throws, and he defends himself…..what is that…??!!”

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Well the zone defense thing is one of my main gripes with international play. Allowing teams to play zone rewards them for having spot up perimeter shooters and neutralizes advantages in athleticism and low-post play. That almost always is gonna work against a team that has more American players, particularly the elite American players. That’s also a big reason why so many Euros who come into the NBA want to stand around on the perimeter and jack up 3′s all day instead of banging inside in the post. Maybe people like Kostas find that kind of basketball more appealing. To me it is pansy basketball.

  • Anton

    NBA > World therefore they are the world champs

  • http://www.ozhiphop.com D.Brown

    I think all teams that have won it in the NBA other than the spurs have ‘world champions’ but that doesn’t mean it is right. It is just another great example of American arrogance in thinking they are the best in the world and acting like the rest of the world does not exist. It would never happen in ANY other country, trust me.

  • whooo!

    i respect pop. and not because of what he said, but because following ’05 i believe, they changed all their banners, even the old ones, to say “nba champions.” that’s the truth. it was in complete recognition of the international players and the way argentina completely trounced team usa in ’04. it just screams of the “we’re the center of the world” notion, but san antonio is the only team that has put “nba champions” on their banners.

  • http://www.ozhiphop.com D.Brown

    @ Anton, if NBA > world then why wouldn’t they call themselves NBA Champs? because that would mean they are better than World champs…..your argument has no logic

  • Majic

    im confident that last years C’s could take any club team in 7

  • Majic

    so why not call them world champs

  • Majic

    they r the best team in the world, or were last year

  • Majic

    *last season

  • http://www.ozhiphop.com D.Brown

    they were not the best team in the world. Best team in NBA? Yes. NBA is best league in the world? Yes. Does that make them ‘world champions’….NO!

    it is so funny to people all over the world how people from the U.S.A have this arrogance/ignorance that never ceases to amaze

  • http://www.ozhiphop.com D.Brown


    ****not all ppl from the U.S.A but a heck of a lot

    e.g Placktose

  • cleb

    gregg is a g

  • Kostas Koufos

    There is a difference when a serious player like T.Parker is forced to score 55 and when a cartoon hero like Iverson is doing this for sneaker sales…just check his yesterday stat line and (maybe)you will get it….

  • William

    New president, same old arrogant attitude…

  • KMoe

    World Champs incompasses the players from across THE WORLD that are playing in the NBA. For that matter it could say, “international champs”, or NBA champs. Point being: WHO CARES?!?! The next time the Spurs win a chip they can PC it to death, until then they should relax.

  • http://www.myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    Kostas/Nikos/Maria or whatever your’e calling yourself this week. Please stop forcing you biased pro European views in every single post it is beyond tiresome.

  • Kostas Koufos

    @Kieran…..:how is school darling?

  • DougB

    The problem is, the Celtics won their first title in 1956. At that time, if you won the NBA Title, you WERE World Champions. It’s simply a matter of tradition. Do you have a problem with Major League Baseball playing the World Series, Pop?