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You Tube Gold: Pop Pulls One Over On Shaq

A sweet side of Gregg Popovich he doesn’t often show in public

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat
MIAMI - OCTOBER 23: Shaquille O’Neal #32 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat talk to Head Coach of the San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich on October 23, 2007 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Gregg Popovich is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. No one would contest that. However, he’s always been a bit on the dour and taciturn side. His sense of humor has usually been aimed at reporters and even then it’s not always pleasant.

So it’s kind of cool to see him prank Shaquille O’ Neal.

In the playoffs the season before this game Popovich had employed the old Haq-a-Shaq strategy where opponents kept fouling the poor foul shooting O’ Neill to put him on the line where he was likely to miss.

In this game - the video was posted in October of 2008 but we don’t have an exact date - the game opens with Tim Duncan conceding the tap and then someone - we think Michael Finley - immediately fouls O’ Neal who looks mystified.

Then he looks over at the Spurs bench and sees Popovich cracking up, followed by the whole arena.

O’ Neil gets the joke and everyone is laughing. It’s a cool scene.