During Sunday's visit to TD Garden, Popovich got a chance to explain his limited interior decoration.
"I've been coaching the Spurs team for a while now," Popovich said. "And when you go down to the arena, coaches have a little office where you can sit and think about the game and work yourself up into a lather. And think about things that confuse the issue, and forget that it's just basketball. And in that room, there's a chair and there's a table. And a lamp. And there's one picture on the wall. And it's been there for the last 18 or 20 years. And that's John Havlicek. So I do think about the [Celtics'] legacy [when visiting Boston]."
Popovich didn't care to elaborate on the reasons for choosing Havlicek and offered only, ""If you can't figure that out yourself, I can't help you. ... You've got to pick somebody."
Havlicek is an eight-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star whose No. 17 jersey sits in the rafters in Boston. Popovich noted the Havlicek picture originally hung in his office at Pomona-Pitzer and he brought it along to San Antonio, where the man in the picture actually dropped by a while back.
"I was privileged and honored that one time maybe, I don't know, six, eight, 10 years ago he was in our gym for something," Popovich said. "And he came back to my office and sat across from me. He sat across from me and we got to talk a little bit. I stammered and that kind of thing, and just stared at him. And talked to him a little bit. So I'm sure he saw it because it was right behind me on the wall right there."
Havlicek didn't make note of his picture?
"I don't think he did. He's not that kind of guy," Popovich said. "He probably didn't even notice it."