Spurs coach Gregg Popovich calls Texas leaders 'cowards' over handling of coronavirus

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich tore into Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) Wednesday over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying “they’re all cowards and they’re all afraid.”

Popovich spoke with reporters during a video call while wearing a shirt that read: “Vote — Your Life Depends On It.”

“We have a lieutenant governor who decided he doesn’t want to listen to [Anthony] Fauci and those people any more,” Popovich said before adding sarcastically, “That makes a lot of sense. How safe can that be? The messaging is ridiculous.”


Patrick earlier this month lambasted Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, over the doctor’s assessment of the recent surge in Texas coronavirus cases, saying he would no longer listen to him.

"He has been wrong every time, on every issue,” Patrick said. “I don’t need his advice anymore. We’ll listen to a lot of science, we’ll listen to a lot of doctors, and Greg and myself and other state leaders will make the decision. No thank you, Dr. Fauci."

The NBA coach then turned his criticism toward Abbott, saying the governor “goes back and forth based on whether he has to satisfy [President] Trump or listen to the numbers.”

“Politics show maybe he better do this because the virus has done that. But no overall policy, no principle,” Popovich said. “It’s all about politics. It’s all about what’s good for them. And ‘them’ means Trump. Because they’re all cowards and they’re all afraid.”


Popovich, a frequent critic of Trump, added that the state of Texas has been “all over the map” with how it is handling the pandemic.

“Nobody knows what the hell’s going on,” he said.

Abbott was one of the first governors to begin reopening his state's economy amid the pandemic, but he was forced to reinstate restrictions, including shutting bars down again, after Texas saw a large upswing in its coronavirus cases.

Popovich’s comments came as the Lone Star State sets grim COVID-19 records.

Texas on Wednesday reported 110 deaths and 10,791 new cases of the virus, bringing its total number of cases during the pandemic to 282,365. It was the second consecutive day that the state broke its record for daily number of new cases.