Steven Adams has established himself as one of the best defensive centers in the league, but also as a very interesting and fun guy always ready for a good laugh. His game evolved quite nicely in the past couple of seasons and he is an important player for the Thunder, especially now after Russell Westbrook left the franchise. Ever since he entered the league, Adams was fascinated by Greg Popovich and the success he achieved coaching the San Antonio Spurs over the years.
Adams was especially excited about meeting Popovich right after the Spurs beat the Thunder in the 2014 WCF. He was a rookie at that time and even though he had a lack of experience playing in the playoffs he received some solid minutes, unfortunately for the Thunder, they fell short to a team that would eventually beat the Heat in the Finals.
Adams tells a somewhat bizarre story when he greeted Popovich after their loss in the WCF and how he was happy to hold his hand and sniff his hair. This somewhat unusual reaction by Adams is something he finds completely normal, especially when standing beside someone you truly admire or have sympathy for like Adams has for Popovich.
“Being knocked out of the finals was heart-breaking, but at the same time I was a rookie who had been able to play a lot in an amazing playoff run with one of the best teams in the league. I wasn't exactly sulking. As we went through and said good luck to all the Spurs guys for their final series rematch against the Heat, I dialled in on Pop and made sure he didn’t leave before I could embrace him. When I finally got my arms around him… mate, it was beautiful. I just held that legendary man and got a quick sniff of his hair. He smelled lovely. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do exactly the same thing if you had the chance.”