Gregg Popovich isn’t really a flaming #%&!*@!. He just plays one on TV. And yet, almost to a man, those who come into contact with him on a regular basis — even Stephen Jackson, whom he just cut — love him unconditionally. Not even the reporters he humiliates on a regular basis can stay mad at him for long. It takes a special personality to be able to unleash his special brand of sarcasm and still foster such affection. Pop certainly has that as a former Air Force officer turned Division III basketball coach turned four-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer. Joe Posnanski delves into one of the more fascinating personalities in his sports with a rare Popovich profile at (Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum was also in town recently for what he said will be a Pop-centric piece, meaning we’re about to know way more about the long-time Spurs coach than he’s probably comfortable with.) True to his reputation as one of the better sportswriters in the country, Posnanski does a wonderful job illustrating Pop’s unique blend of irreverence, intelligence and surliness. The former SI scribe also enlists the help of those who know him best. Larry Brown: “I think it’s just because, deep down, Pop’s as decent a guy as you will ever meet. He can yell at the players because they trust him. They know he’s got their backs.” R.C. Buford: “The key is relationships. He’s the best I’ve ever seen at building those relationships. He builds their trust. People believe in him.”