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Popovich has Spurs' Jock Landale give a team presentation on U.S. infrastructure

"It's so much more than basketball," the Australian rookie said.

SAN ANTONIO — Just how much does Spurs' Gregg Popovich want the players to know there is a bigger world outside the basketball court?

Just ask rookie center Jock Landale and a homework assignment given to him by the team's head coach.

In an interview with ESPN Australia, Landale was asked about playing for Popovich and how unique he is. 

Landale touched on how much Popovich is demanding about the players giving their best on the court but also revealed how he wants them to be well-rounded on topics in the real world.

"He cares about a lot of things off the court though. It's not just basketball with him," Landale said.

To further push that point, Popovich tasked Landale to put on a team presentation about Joe Biden and a bill to help U.S. infrastructure. 

"I think one of the first sessions that I had with the team I had to present about a two-minute speech about Joe Biden, a two-trillion dollar bill that was passed in America for infrastructure and such," Landale said. "I had to actually come in with a presentation and talk to the group about it and educate them on what was going on. It's so much more than basketball."

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on the sidelines during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Friday, Dec. 17 2021, in Salt Lake City. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Utah Jazz 128-126. (AP Photo/Kim Raff)

Popovich preaches that at the end of the day, basketball is just a game and pales in comparison to what is going on globally.

He isn't shy to talk about political issues from former President Donald Trump, the handling of the pandemic, and social issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement, and more.

RELATED: 'I'm a little confused about our city': Spurs' Popovich questions San Antonio school districts recognizing Columbus Day

"He's always quizzing us about real issues in the world," said Landale. "Just trying to really broaden our knowledge on things greater than basketball and that's kind of cool to see from a guy of his stature."

Popovich connects with the players on so many levels. This is what makes him so unique and beloved by the players.

However, when it comes to getting the job done on the NBA hardwood, Landale is experiencing how competitive the long-time coach can be.

"He's intense. He really is," Landale said. "He demands your best every single night and you go to give it to him."

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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