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Gregg Popovich gives pep talk to staff of San Antonio Food Bank

Gregg Popovich delivered a powerful message in a conference call with a group of local workers who needed it more than most this week.

Popovich, ever quick with a dig and a quip publicly, dug into his arsenal of stories from “some tough games” to provide the staff of the San Antonio Food Bank with a vital takeaway on how to weather a crisis, the organization’s president and CEO Eric Cooper told the San Antonio Express-News.

The Spurs coach dialed in with the food bank staff Monday, four days after volunteers fed 10,000 households at a drive-thru on the city’s South Side, the most the food bank has ever fed.

“It was pretty sweet, pretty special,” Cooper said.

The Popovich pep talk came at a time when the food bank’s resources were stretched to their limits, with food supplies running scarce and scores of newly unemployed workers in the area needing assistance.

Popovich, 71, stressed that the food bank’s mission was far more important than the Spurs’.

“He said, ‘We are just entertainers playing a sport that doesn’t mean much, but you guys are serving the community,'” Cooper said. “Our staff and volunteers really appreciated it.”

Popovich also took questions.

“Someone even asked him why he benched Timmy (Duncan) in Game 6 (of the 2013 NBA Finals against Miami), and I was like, ‘Oh, man,'” Cooper said. “But he was just a real blessing to the staff. He gave us some good insights about leadership and getting through tough times. It was cool to see.”

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