For Pete's Sake

Spurs’ Popovich pondered drafting KU’s Scot Pollard instead of Tim Duncan in 1997

Scot Pollard with the Jayhawks in 1995.
Scot Pollard with the Jayhawks in 1995. The Associated Press

Here’s a “What-If” for local sports fans to ponder.

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich reached the 1,000-win mark on Monday night when the Spurs beat the Pacers 95-93. Before the game, Popovich was asked about former Kansas star Scot Pollard, who works as a Pacers announcer.

As you may know, Pollard was in the 1997 NBA Draft along with Tim Duncan. The Spurs when with Duncan and the Duncan-Popovich pairing has resulted in five NBA titles.

But Popovich swore that he considered drafting Pollard with the No. 1 overall pick instead of Duncan.

“It’s a true story. I loved the way Scot played,” Popovich told Vigilant Sports, which noted that Pollard was nearby while Popovich spoke. “Timmy was really smooth and all that and so I wondered, ‘Is that going to translate? Is he going to be tough? Is he going to do what he did … he’s long and lengthy and he’s thin. Scot Pollard was out there kicking you-know-what and taking names.

“It was actually a conversation. Now, I have to also say that that notion didn’t last real long.”

There’s a reason why the “notion didn’t last real long.” Duncan was seen as a slam-dunk No. 1 pick.

Pollard was drafted 19th that year by the Pistons. He later played for the Kings, Pacers, Cavaliers and Celtics.

I’m guessing Spurs fans are happy history played out the way it did.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @pgrathoff.