Through the Gregg Popovich Period, the San Antonio Spurs have extensively been thought-about a mannequin group. There haven’t been many former gamers with unfavorable issues to say about Popovich or the crew. Unfavourable headlines concerning the Spurs are so few and much between that when it occurs, it’s seen as odd. Within the final decade, nonetheless, they’ve turn into extra widespread.
No group, regardless of how storied, is ideal. These few blemishes on the Spurs’ file over the past 10 years are appreciable although, they usually’re value trying into.
Stephen Jackson’s profession by no means recovered after being lower from the Spurs simply earlier than the 2013 postseason. On his All The Smoke Podcast in 2019, Jackson advised his model of the story the place he stated the Spurs weren’t giving him sufficient minutes to get in a rhythm. After being referred to as into Popovich’s workplace and realizing he was about to be lower and stated, “I needed to kick him in his f***ing face once I noticed his face. I needed to kick the s**t out of him.”
Jackson went on to say that Popovich orchestrated a state of affairs the place Jackson would lower himself from the crew. He claims that Popovich confirmed him recreation footage of all his dangerous performs from the season, after which gave him an ultimatum: Name in Danny Inexperienced and Manu Ginobili and admit to them they had been higher than him or depart. Jackson realized later that Popovich did that to make it his choice, nevertheless it’s finally the consequence Popovich needed. Jackson recollects that shortly after he bought house from the Spurs facility that day his pal Tracy McGrady referred to as him and advised him he simply landed in San Antonio and was becoming a member of the crew. That’s when Jackson knew it was all deliberate out.
Jackson went on to say that he heard Popovich say that he regretted the way in which the entire state of affairs went down, and Jackson appreciated Popovich for that. The harm to Jackson’s profession, nonetheless, was already finished. Jackson insists that the Spurs dropping the 2013 NBA Finals to the Miami Warmth was karmic justice, stating, “I’d’ve bought that rebound, I’d’ve locked up Ray Allen. They misplaced and that’s good for them.”
In fact, we will’t write this piece and never cowl the “The Klaw” himself, Kawhi Leonard. Let’s return to the place all of it started in Recreation 1 of the 2017 Western Convention Finals towards the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs had been placing on a clinic and making the Warriors seem like they don’t belong within the collection. Then, with one play, every little thing modified – Leonard landed on Zaza Pachulia’s foot, injuring his ankle.Although recovered from the ankle harm that took him out of the playoffs, he started complaining a few quad harm that brought on him to overlook many of the season. The one drawback is that the Spurs medical workers couldn’t appear to search out a difficulty along with his quad.
Leonard complained about soreness within the tendon that connects the quad to the knee. Fellow teammate Tony Parker had beforehand suffered the same harm besides it was arguably worse. Parker suffered a full quad tear in 2017 rehabbed and returned to the ground 20 video games into the 2018 season, whereas Leonard stayed out claiming he wasn’t prepared. This assertion brought on friction within the Spurs locker room. When Popovich was requested when Leonard would return, merely responded with that’s as much as him and his group. This formally signaled to the media that the Spurs group and Leonard weren’t on the identical web page. Whereas issues performed out beneath wraps within the Spurs’ locker room, the saga performed out each day in sports activities media.
Why did Leonard sit out for nearly a whole season? Did he need to power a commerce? Was he critically injured? Can we blame it on his uncle taking on his administration? Each events have by no means spoken overtly about what occurred between them. With their respective reputations for privateness, possible, they by no means will.
On June 29, 2022, the Spurs traded their place to begin guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks. Whereas many Spurs followers had been unhappy to see Murray and fan-favorite Lonnie Walker IV half methods with the crew, actuality finally set in. Quickly, consideration shifted to the new 2022 draftees. Simply because the Spurs fan base started to come back to phrases with the brand new actuality in San Antonio, Murray took to Twitter to specific the enjoyment he felt being in Atlanta. He later clapped again at indignant followers, saying the issue at San Antonio is larger than basketball. Murray additional claimed the Spurs won’t be in title competition for fifteen years.
It was unhappy for Spurs followers to see Murray drag the crew after leaving. Most followers see this as forgivable and are prepared to chalk it as much as immaturity. Some followers don’t appear as prepared to let it go, and Murray appears to be proud of trying petty towards Spurs followers.
When the Decide A Aspect Podcast did a phase on the social media drama, co-host Joel Moran implied that Murray ought to have respect for the crew that constructed him. Murray responded with an Instagram remark comprised of a protracted line of laughing emojis. The Spurs haven’t responded to Murray’s feedback, however this nonetheless stands out as a uncommon incidence the place a former participant has robust criticism for the group as a complete.
With the San Antonio Spurs Uncovered, Extra Gamers Are Talking Up
The dangerous press isn’t restricted to those three incidents both. With NBA gamers being interviewed extra ceaselessly now on podcasts, extra issues will definitely come to gentle. Lately former Spur Vernon Maxwell even lately stated that Popovich had a personal investigator observe him to ensure wasn’t going clubbing. It’s not completely honest to assert these gamers as “dangerous apples” or the system as “flawed”. Some individuals simply aren’t a superb match.
Just like the gamers, Spurs followers aren’t anticipated to be monolithic both. Earlier than the crew’s 1999 Championship, some Spurs followers thought Popovich was operating the group into the bottom. For others, Popovich can do no fallacious. Now that the crew has been out of the playoffs for a number of years, extra tales will certainly resurface as gamers previous and current are extra accessible than ever. The Spurs might have a tougher time holding issues out of the press as they’ve grown accustomed to.