Curmudgeonly Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s begrudging acknowledgement that Kevin Durant “played great” in the Thunder’s Game 4 win last night has provoked soaring speculation that San Antonio will court the free agent forward this offseason.

Durant scored 41 and personally outscored the Spurs in the fourth quarter. Popovich’s postgame acknowledgment of Durant, while innocuous on paper, sounded effusive and over-the-top coming from the notoriously gruff Popovich.

Popovich congratulates Kawhi Leonard on a smart decision. (Getty)

Popovich congratulates Kawhi Leonard on a smart decision. (Getty)

“For Pop to depart from his usual grunts and ‘I don’t know’s to say someone played ‘great’ is unheard of,” said one veteran NBA observer. “Coming from Pop, that’s like that thing where peacocks show all their feathers to try to attract a mate or whatever. Definitely seems like he’d only do it if the Spurs were interested in signing Durant.”

Also after the game, Popovich admitted that Tony Parker had played “fantastic”, which observers say means the coach will ask the Spurs guard to be godson to a coming granddaughter.

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