The U.S. Olympic swim team is training in San Antonio, and last week was greeted by two kings of the town, Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.
The king of the Olympics, Michael Phelps, got some one-on-one time with the basketball legends, affording he and Parker, who will make his second Olympic appearance for France in Rio, the chance to discuss the athlete’s experience at the Games.
Having won four NBA titles, Parker gave Phelps some perspective as the swimmer embarks on his fifth and final Olympics.
“He said – and I thought this was really cool, I thought about it a lot last night – you don’t remember your first championship or Olympics, but the more you do, the harder it gets and the more you appreciate it,” Phelps said of Parker’s comments during a press conference. “I think that was really cool to listen to.”
If they had the time, Phelps said he could have listened to them for much longer.
“Pop’s awesome,” Phelps said with a smile. “I mean, he’s just so cool. I literally could have sat there and talked to him and Tony for hours…. Pop’s a straight shooter. I like people like that. There’s no B.S.; he just kind of gives it to you how it is.
“I think that’s something that is really special and I think it talks a lot about how good they are and how passionate they are. There’s a reason why [the Spurs are] always up there.”
Popovich has led the Spurs to five NBA championships since 1999.