Gregg Popovich endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich endorsed Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas's Senate race on Saturday. 

Popovich called the Texas Democrat a “special guy” on Saturday and said he makes him feel “like what I thought an American is supposed to be” while speaking to the media before his team’s matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, My San Antonio reported.

"You get so tired of all the lies and the divisiveness, and the fearmongering and the race-baiting. It just diminishes all of us," Popovich said. "It makes all of us feel strange, and when I think of Beto, or I listen to what he says, I feel like what I thought an American is supposed to be. He's classy. He's intelligent. He's civil."


The coach, who has won five NBA championships with the Spurs, also praised O’Rourke for having visited all 254 Texas counties throughout his campaign.

"He's been everywhere because he cares about all the people, and he doesn't deal with PACs and corporations and all that sort of thing, he just does the work," Popovich said.

Popovich, a staunch critic of President TrumpDonald TrumpClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' Sinema reignites 2024 primary chatter amid filibuster fight  Why not a Manchin-DeSantis ticket for 2024? MORE, also reportedly took aim at O’Rourke’s Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Equilibrium/Sustainability — Bald eagle comeback impacted by lead poison The Hill's Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin MORE, during the media session on Saturday night.

"Leaders are courageous," Popovich said, according to the local outlet. "Leaders conduct themselves based on their standards, their principles. They have the courage of their convictions. They don't genuflect. They don't kiss up for their own personal gain. [O'Rourke] is out for the people. He wants everything to be fair. He wants justice. He wants our democratic institutions to be respected, so that we are proud of being Americans. You can't be proud of the culture wars that have been begun, and the whole world looks at us for leadership, and it's not there.”

"That's why people like Beto are so important, because he embodies that. He is there for us. He's not there for his own personal gain and position. When people are so desperate as is his opponent, that scares me,” Popovich added. “To do what Mr. Cruz has done to try to get elected is very scary. That's about self. That's not about the rest of us. And Beto is the exact opposite of that, and that's why I think he is great."

O’Rourke was thanked Popovich for his endorsement on Twitter, saying: “Thanks, coach. Honored to have your support.”

The NBA coach’s endorsement comes one day after he donned a hat in support of the Texas Democrat during his team’s practice on Friday.