The San Antonio Spurs’ frequent blowouts have given Boban Marjanovic a chance to play, and the enormous rookie has taken full advantage and quickly become a fan favorite.
Head coach Gregg Popovich just worries that some fans (and media members) are treating the big fella as some kind of freakshow.
Pop did not enjoy the MVP chants for Boban. Says it "worries" him when fans treat him like an "odd thing."
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) December 31, 2015
Marjanovic was serenaded with “M-V-P!” chants Wednesday night after grabbing 12 rebounds in 15 minutes in the Spurs’ 112-79 demolition of the visiting Phoenix Suns.
Per the Express-News:
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not amused. […] “Sometimes it actually worries me,” Popovich said of the phenomenon that has come to be known as “Boban Mania.” “I think the crowd, they really get a kick out of him and all that, but he’s a basketball player. He’s not some sort of an odd thing.”
A rookie center from Serbia, Marjanovic has been a fan favorite since the start of the season, due mostly to his size. […] Now that Marjanovic is getting steadier minutes, fans cheer any time he checks into the game, anytime he touches the ball, anytime he does anything at all. The good-natured Marjanovic has soaked up the adulation, calling the crowd support “amazing.”
Popovich said he understands fans having fun, but hopes the outsized Marjanovic “gets treated with the respect other people do.” […] “He’s a hard worker and he’s a really intelligent kid and he wants it badly,” Popovich said. “I think you can get off your game when people cheer in a certain way, over the line, for no reason.”