Warriors coach dodges police en route to Game 2
A day after Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich accused Warriors center Zaza Pachulia of an “unsportsmanlike” play in Game 1, the California Highway Patrol unintentionally broke the tension between the two teams.
After arriving to his pregame media availability Tuesday about five minutes late, Golden State acting head coach Mike Brown offered a humorous explanation for his tardiness.
“I was driving here with my son and a couple friends in my car in my black range rover. We’re exiting the off-ramp and I tell my son — because my son loves Coach Pop, known Coach Pop for a long time — I said Cam, the Spurs are behind us,” Brown said. “He said: ‘How do you know?’ I said there’s a police escort with motorcycles in front of them. So one motorcycle gets in front of the red light off the exit ramp, pauses, tells everyone to go through. So my buddy’s like, ‘Oh, you got to thank the Spurs for that.’ Go to the next red light, more cops come, the bus is right on us. They’re like ‘Get through! Get through!’ This is kind of helping us, helping me out because I have (PR man Raymond Ridder) breathing down my neck.
“So then we get to the part where you’re about to turn right into the gate at the last red light. So I literally start to go and get in the far left lane to go through where we all go through. Then the cop out of nowhere pulls in front of me: ‘Hey, you! Stop!’ I’m like (points at his shirt): ‘Warriors acting coach!’ He’s like: ‘I don’t care! You, stop!’
“So I’m like feeling myself a little bit, like I’m not getting bullied by Oakland PD or San Francisco PD. Bullied, in my own parking lot? So then another one pulls up: ‘Hey, you! You heard him, stop!’ So I’m like, OK, I own a motorcycle and if I scoot a little closer, they’ll get scared because I’d get scared. So I started scooting forward. Then an SVU pulls up and I hear him on their loud speaker: ‘Hey, you in the Range Rover! Stop! Right now! You heard the officer!’ Then I get scared because I have five cops around me. So I just stopped.”
Brown fell back, driving behind the Spurs’ team bus. Then, his phone rang.
“Then I get this phone call: Gregg Popovich,” Brown said. “So I answer the phone and Pop is dying (laughing). He said: ‘Mike, I didn’t know that was you. I’m sitting here and I see this black Range Rover, I see all these cops surrounding him and I see the car trying to inch forward and I’m like, he’s about to get arrested.’ I said: ‘Pop, this is my own building.’ He said: ‘I know when I saw it was you, I died laughing.’”
Popovich jokingly blamed Brown for the incident, saying: “Someone’s got to teach him: ‘If the California Highway Patrol tells you to move over, you move over.’ He didn’t do that.”
Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Con_Chron