Gregg Popovich endorses Beto O'Rourke in Texas Senate race

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich endorsed Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in Texas’s Senate race on Saturday. 

Popovich called the Texas Democrat a “special guy” on Saturday and said he makes him feel “like what I thought an American is supposed to be” while speaking to the media before his team’s matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, My San Antonio reported.

“You get so tired of all the lies and the divisiveness, and the fearmongering and the race-baiting. It just diminishes all of us,” Popovich said. “It makes all of us feel strange, and when I think of Beto, or I listen to what he says, I feel like what I thought an American is supposed to be. He’s classy. He’s intelligent. He’s civil.”

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The coach, who has won five NBA championships with the Spurs, also praised O’Rourke for having visited all 254 Texas counties throughout his campaign.

“He’s been everywhere because he cares about all the people, and he doesn’t deal with PACs and corporations and all that sort of thing, he just does the work,” Popovich said.

Popovich, a staunch critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, also reportedly took aim at O’Rourke’s Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE, during the media session on Saturday night.

“Leaders are courageous,” Popovich said, according to the local outlet. “Leaders conduct themselves based on their standards, their principles. They have the courage of their convictions. They don’t genuflect. They don’t kiss up for their own personal gain. [O’Rourke] is out for the people. He wants everything to be fair. He wants justice. He wants our democratic institutions to be respected, so that we are proud of being Americans. You can’t be proud of the culture wars that have been begun, and the whole world looks at us for leadership, and it’s not there.”

“That’s why people like Beto are so important, because he embodies that. He is there for us. He’s not there for his own personal gain and position. When people are so desperate as is his opponent, that scares me,” Popovich added. “To do what Mr. Cruz has done to try to get elected is very scary. That’s about self. That’s not about the rest of us. And Beto is the exact opposite of that, and that’s why I think he is great.”

O’Rourke was thanked Popovich for his endorsement on Twitter, saying: “Thanks, coach. Honored to have your support.”

The NBA coach’s endorsement comes one day after he donned a hat in support of the Texas Democrat during his team’s practice on Friday.

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