Later, McDonald provided the exact quote: "The only thing that surprises me is that he didn't say it in a chicken suit. I'll just leave it at that."
Popovich is referring to Sarver's antics in 2005 when the Spurs held out their best players during a regular season game when the Suns and Spurs were both on top of the Western Conference heap.
Remember that the Spurs sat out many of their stars during Thursday night's preseason game. Robert Sarver got on the microphone and offered the fans a gift to supplicate their potential disappointment in missing out on the league champions best players. The Suns won the game by 31.
I sincerely doubt that Sarver begrudged the Spurs injured players, like Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter. It's that Popovich, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were healthy but stayed in San Antonio to "rest".
Here's the Sarver apology to fans.
After the game, he told Paul Coro it wasn't really about why the Spurs didn't bring three starters and two of their best bench players. It's that, in totality, it wasn't the Spurs who played the Suns on Thursday.
"I just felt that the fans paid good money for the game and they didn't see the players that they anticipated seeing," Sarver said to Coro. "It was just a gesture to let them know that we appreciate their support and want to do something to compensate for that."
"It's their decision and it's my decision to decide what to do for our fans," Sarver continued. "I'm fine with it."