Memphis' Iavaroni takes high road after Spurs' Popovich lashes out

Updated: February 10, 2008, 5:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Grizzlies head coach Marc Iavaroni has heard the critics lambasting Memphis' management for the Pau Gasol trade to the Lakers, most notably the strong words from San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. He just chooses to ignore them.

"[Popovich is] a great coach and they do a good job there," Iavaroni told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "I don't read into anyone else's comments. That's just the nature of the league. People have a right to their opinion. We're just taking care of our best interests."

Popovich slammed Memphis for a trade that many around the NBA thought favored the Lakers.

"What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension," Popovich told SI.com. "There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I would have voted no to the LA trade."

In the deal, Memphis acquired Kwame Brown and his expiring $9 million contract, rookie Javaris Crittenton, the rights to Marc Gasol and first-round picks in 2008 and 2010.

As a result of the trade, the Grizzlies could have as much as $17 million available under the salary cap that could help them sign free agents over the summer.