SAN ANTONIO — Former Spurs player Zarko Paspalj (1989-90) is honoring head coach Gregg Popovich in a big way.
He has commissioned an artist to paint a mural of Popovich on a wall at a neighborhood garden near his home. The site is also where Paspalj has refurbished an area for a basketball court for the community.
Popovich is known for making his way to Belgrade and visiting with his former player as he said in an interview with Eurohoops.
”I always enjoy coming back”, he said. “I have many friends here, coaches, former players and whenever I have the opportunity to come, I take it."
"Βetween the coaches and the players, it’s always a thrill for me to be here. And I love food and wine on top of it and they always know where to take me," Popovich said.
The Spurs have been one of the pioneers in developing foreign basketball talent.
From Tony Parker (France), Manu Ginobili (Argentina) to Tiago Splitter (Brazil), and many others, San Antonio has discovered gems outside of the United States.
As for the former Spur, Paspalj developed a cult following for those who remember him playing in San Antonio.
His former teammate, Sean Elliott, shared his memories of playing with him and admitting he got beat by Paspalj in practice.