Tag:San Antonio Spurs
Posted on: July 14, 2011 8:30 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Robert Horry: Derek Fisher is too old for Lakers

Robert Horry says Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher is too old. Posted by Ben Golliver.


Robert Horry was one of the NBA's all-time great winners. They say you need a lot of luck and the right circumstances to win an NBA title, making Horry one of the luckiest judges of circumstances the league has ever seen.

Horry won multiple titles with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, snagging the moniker "Big Shot Rob" along the way. Never a star, Horry could be counted on to do the little things, be in the right place at the right time and step up to take an important shot regardless of how much pressure there was in a given situation. His career haul: Seven rings. More than Michael Jordan. More than Kobe Bryant. More than Shaquille O'Neal.  Pretty nuts.

In other words, Horry knows winning. Asked by the Los Angeles Times what it will take for the Lakers, Horry didn't mince words, pointing the finger at the Lakers' starting point guard, and his former teammate, Derek Fisher.
"I think they need another good point guard. No disrespect to Derek Fisher. But Derek is long in the tooth. I've been there, done that. I understand that. They need to get a point guard who can distribute the ball, get people in order and not be afraid to tell Kobe [Bryant], 'no.'"
Aside from a new point guard, Horry urged minor changes over major changes.
"All they need is a season of rest. They have more time off to rest. If they don't do anything ridiculous like blowing it up, they'll be fine. Go out and add a couple more bench pieces, get some role players who don't mind doing some dirty work, and they'll be fine."
Fisher, 36, has five rings and is the president of the Players Association, so it goes without saying that he is one of the league's most respected elder statesmen. The numbers, however, aren't particularly kind to him. Fisher averaged just 6.8 points -- his lowest total in more than a decade -- and 2.7 assists last season. He didn't miss a game for the sixth consecutive season, but his lack of athleticism and quickness proved to be limiting factors for the Lakers.

On the bright side, Fisher still was able to log 28.0 minutes per game, meaning there's plenty of room to reduce his role over the next two seasons, as he's under contract through 2012-2013. It's certainly possible that his "old-man game" still has a place for the Lakers off the bench. A complicating factor with continuing Fisher in his current role is that Bryant's athleticism is also starting to give a bit too age. Pairing Bryant with a more active, dynamic starting point guard would be the ideal situation, with the option of returning to Fisher in big late-game moments should the need arise.

Fisher is one of the smartest and sneakiest players in the league, master of every trick in the book. But each new year brings another crop of super-elite athletes at the point guard position. Horry is correct here. Unless there's an extended work stoppage that allows Fisher extra time to rest his body, the time is right for the Lakers to make a change at the point.

Here's video of Horry's comments about Fisher courtesy of YouTube user LosAngelesTimes.

Posted on: July 10, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 5:38 pm

What teams risk in a lockout: Southwest Division

Posted by Royce Young

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier, we took a look at the Southeast, Atlantic and Central Divisions. Let's continue on with the rough and tumble, yet aging, Southwest Division.

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets easily present the most interesting lockout case of any team in my mind. First off, the league owns them. Secondly, and related to that, Chris Paul is a free agent in 2012. The league took on the responsibility of the Hornets because David Stern wasn't about to see a franchise lost on his watch and wants to do everything he can to keep the team there.

But a prolonged lockout resulting in a lost season really might end professional basketball in New Orleans. Chris Paul would have the ability to walk with the Hornets never having an chance to get anything in return, meaning the one draw the team has could be gone and the already struggling franchise might not have anything to show for his exit. On top of that, David West opted out and is an unrestricted free agent currently. So not only could the roster be entirely turned over, the already suspect fanbase might take another blow.

Now of course if Stern and the owners can negotiate a deal that makes a franchise like the Hornets profitable no matter what, then the league can sell the team and potentially pocket a bit. That's obviously something in the back of Stern's mind. The Hornets really make this lockout all the more intriguing because now Stern has a stake in things directly. He's not just the mediator trying to produce a good system for his league, but he's an owner too now.

Dallas Mavericks

Here's one benefit of a prolonged lockout: The Mavs get to be champs for two years instead of one. Bonus? I don't think they'd think so. Especially because the window the Mavs have to remain serious contenders isn't going to stay open much longer. Dirk is aging, Jason Kidd is like 78 and there are a bunch of questions surrounding players like Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea.

Mark Cuban is a big market owner, but I can see him as someone leaning toward making sure there is basketball over the owners guaranteeing profits. He's a fan first and foremost and he's tasted the top of the mountain. Granted, he gets the chance to soak it up a little longer, but if he wants his roster to keep going, losing a year might be the beginning of the end for the current Mavs.

San Antonio Spurs

There's no hiding that the Spurs are getting older. A year lost means another year tacked on to Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. A year lost means Gregg Popovich gets a little older and as the longest tenured coach in the league, he might not have many left. The Spurs have a fanbase that will absolutely return in force and Peter Holt is maybe the finest owner in the league, especially in terms of managing a small market franchise, but I'm sure a year of lost basketball isn't something that sits well.

Holt obviously would love a system that levels the playing field a bit and helps smaller markets on the road to basking in the same light the Lakers, Bulls and Knicks get, but basketball is a priority in San Antonio. The window won't be open much longer. Even Tony Parker acknowledged that. And that roster still wants to try and make one more run at it all.

Memphis Grizzlies
Really, Michael Heisley probably isn't all that terrified from losing a season. He's a small market owner who has spent big as of late and saving money on Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley isn't all bad for him. The core of the team, sans Marc Gasol, is all locked up long-term so while a lost season would mean missing out on all the positive movement and momentum from last season, there's still a lot of opportunity ahead for Memphis.

Still, it's a risk to mess with a potentially fragile fanbase like the Grizzlies'. The FedEx Forum has never been known to be full, but during the postseason run, the Grizzlies emerged with one of the most passionate, loyal crowds in the league. There's clearly something working right now and Heisley and the Grizzlies don't want to jade and sour those fans that have come around by damaging all that goodwill they worked so hard to build.

Houston Rockets
Hard for me to guess how the Rockets see this thing. They are an in-between franchise, not necessarily small market but not big either. Their roster is set up to withstand a lockout and return with good pieces intact. They don't have any major lingering free agents of concern.

What I think would scare them a bit though is missing out on the opportunity to compete in the trade market for players like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams all season long though. The Rockets have quality trade pieces and good assets to dangle in front of teams and I'm sure Daryl Morey would have some interesting proposals to make. Sure there's always 2012's free agency but opening it up to that puts the Rockets a bit behind the other, more intriguing, brighter markets. A sign-and-trade might be their best chance to land that superstar player Morey so desperately wants.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 11:49 am

Tony Parker flies a jet pack photo

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker flies a jet pack. Posted by Ben Golliver.

NBA scouts say San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Tony Parker can really fly in transition, but I'm not sure they had this in mind.

TMZ.com has uncovered a photo of Parker, vacationing in St. Tropez, flying in a "water-propelled jet back" above the Mediterranean Sea. The site reports Parker spent the equivalent of $5,000 to take the ride.

Here's a look.

There's a very good chance this sort of thing would be off-limits under Parker's NBA contract, as potentially dangerous activities are generally prohibited.

The NBA is in a lockout, however, so there are no contracts and, therefore, no rules. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and executive R.C. Buford aren't even allowed to call Parker to tell him to knock it off. They can only cross their fingers and pray. 

Up, up and away!

The device Parker is reportedly riding is called a JetLev, which uses water as a propellant. The jetpack manufacturer's website says the product is easy to use and safe.
No other flying device even comes close to the Jetlev R200’s stability, agility and ease of use. Feel as one with the jetpack when you fly, and experience levitation flight so stable that you feel as if you are suspended on cables. The three-dimensional degree of freedom will thrill and enthrall you like nothing else you have ever experienced. You can fly over deep open water with the assurance that it is one of the safest power sports ever invented. 
Here's a promotional video for the JetLev courtesy of YouTube user devinsupertramp.

Photo via TMZ.com and WhoSay.com.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 30, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 1:54 pm

Manu Ginobili: Window not closed but closing

Posted by Matt Moore

Tony Parker made some unpopular comments a few months ago about how the Spurs' window had closed. Parker has backed off the comments since then but the conversation left a bad taste in people's mouth, and suddenly, a bunch of trade rumors surfaced about Parker. The Spurs wound up trading guard George Hill, while committing to Parker. But the question remains: Do the Spurs think they're done?

Why don't we ask Manu Ginobili? Well, someone already did.

Project Spurs translated an interview with Ginobili from Argentinian newspaper Ole', and his thoughts were mighty interesting:  
"Closed-no, but it is closing. I'm going to be 34, Duncan is 35 and this is not forever. But we won 61 games and in six months...Boston, two years ago, played the final and was a veteran team more than we do today. It depends if you play well, you put it when it counts and not suffer injuries. Fortunately, in our case we do not injure this year."

Ginobili also said that the Spurs have been called "old" even when they won the title in 2007 and that he feels like he is better than he expected at this age, but will look to transition his game a bit because a physical decline is inevitable and he has to become "better, smarter and more reliable."
via Ginobili: Spurs window is not closed | June.

So the window's not closed, but it's getting narrow. The Spurs' ability to be honest about themselves is really admirable. It's also really weird. Most teams deny the fall until it's completely over. But Ginobili also has a point about being "old." And he's got a more recent example he could use. The Mavericks were a considerably veteran team, as old as any that won a title for the Spurs. It's definitely true that veteran teams win championships.

But his talk of changing his game is concerning, because it recognizes struggles he's having physically. That said, there isn't a savvier player in the league than Ginobili, and he should continue to be productive through the end of his contract.

The job of rebuilding the Spurs, or reshaping, really, belongs to Gregg Popovich. They have to return to being a defensive-minded, grind-it-out team. Without that identity, they'll get lapped in the race by hungrier teams, just as they were by Memphis.
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 12:39 pm

Duncan will not exercise option, no extension

Posted by Matt Moore

Tim Duncan has a player's option to become a free agent. Duncan endured a pretty disappointing season when the Spurs obtained the top seed but were bounced in the first round. Add an aging roster that Tony Parker publicly said (then recanted) is finished contending, and most All-Stars would test free agency, if for no other reason than to secure the best long-term deal to finish their careers.  

But Duncan is not such an All-Star. Instead, he will not opt-out and will finish the final year of his contract.

From the San Antonio Express-News
Tim Duncan is not expected to opt out of the final year of his contract, and the Spurs don’t plan to offer him an extension before the collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday, according to a source familiar with talks between the team and the franchise icon. As such, Duncan will play out the final year of his existing deal, during which he is scheduled to earn $21.2 million, and remains on track to become a free agent after the 2011-12 campaign.
via Spurs Nation » Source: Duncan will not opt out.

It's a good fit on both sides. Duncan gets to make the max money, unlimited by a possible change to his first-year contract under the new CBA. The team doesn't have to worry about fitting Duncan in under a harder cap.

Now, Duncan will become a free agent in 2012, which means even if there's a delay in the new CBA taking hold, his next contract will either have to be shorter or facilitate what will likely be a smaller, harder cap. But at that point, he'll be just about ready to retire, so a shorter-term contract won't be much of a problem.

The Spurs' decision not to offer isn't surprising; it's likely part of the overall plan. The team isn't worried about Duncan finishing elsewhere. If he does, it'll be his decision, and a chance for the Spurs to truly move forward with rebuilding. But if that's the way things go down, it'll likely mean the end of the Popovich era as well.

Heading into this lockout, the forecast was even stormier for the Spurs than it was for the rest of the league.
Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 6:31 pm

2011 NBA Draft: 5 second round steals

Here's a look at five second round steals in the 2011 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliver. davis-bertans

1. Davis Bertans -- San Antonio Spurs at No. 42

Acquiring George Hill for picks was a nice win-now move for the Indiana Pacers, but the San Antonio Spurs did very well to get value in the package coming back. Snagging Kawhi Leonard, the major slipper in the first round, was a great move. Picking up Bertans, a Latvian forward with first round potential, was arguably even better. That Bertans fell to No. 42 and the Spurs, historically one of the smartest organizations in the NBA, seems almost unfair. An excellent shooter with great length and a bit of handle to boot, Bertans can develop at his own pace overseas, ready to inject talent when needed in the post-Duncan era.

2. Darius Morris -- Los Angeles Lakers at No. 41

The Lakers needed to address the point guard position after exiting the playoffs earlier than usual this year. The aging Derek Fisher and the frantic Steve Blake didn't perform up to expectations and there are question marks about Shannon Brown's future in Los Angeles. Morris, who has often drawn comparisons to Andre Miller for his play-making and size, was the best point guard remaining on the board and had been considered a first round prospect by some talent evaluators. The Lakers filled a hole beautifully and hedge nicely against Father Time. 

3. Josh Selby -- Memphis Grizzlies at No. 49

Did anyone fall further than Josh Selby? A top high school talent endured a confusing and disappointing single season at Kansas before bailing to the pros as a one-and-done. Anyone snatching him up in the second round, given those circumstances, was getting good value. That he lasted until No. 49 is pretty amazing. Memphis -- led by no-nonsense coach Lionel Hollins -- showed this season that it can keep difficult personalities and egos in check and turn a group of cast-offs into a team that defeated the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. If Selby is able to stick and get his career back on track, his scoring ability in the backcourt would make a trade of O.J. Mayo less painful. If not, the Grizzlies can simply cut their losses. All-reward, no-risk here.

4. Jeremy Tyler -- Golden State Warriors at No. 39

Jeremy Tyler is a risk, without question, and the Warriors are already reportedly $2 million deep into that risk after purchasing the pick used to select him from the Charlotte Bobcats. Tyler was a top 15 talent in this year's draft crop, once regarded as the best high school player in his class. He's shown signs of maturation and his offensive instincts are fairly well-honed. He will need to grow up as a professional but the same goes for many in this class. Getting him on a second-round contract with the flexibility of a non-guaranteed deal means he is on a tight leash and will have every reason to be on his best behavior. He's in a position where he's got to prove himself all over again to really see an NBA payday, the type of which he expected when he left high school early to play overseas years ago. Getting him fully in shape to reach that goal is the first step. No one should be surprised if he becomes the most talented player picked in the second round within two or three years. Golden State needed to get tougher and bulkier inside, which they did here. 

5. Andrew Goudelock -- Los Angeles Lakers at No. 46

Goudelock is a small school scoring point guard without much of a defensive reputation. That description alone carries plenty of question marks and risks. But the Lakers -- with Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Paul Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the fold -- have the talent, not to mention the deep pocketbooks, to sustain those risks with ease. As the guard trio of Bryant, Fisher and Blake ages, GM Mitch Kupchak's job was simply to inject the roster with youth and upside. In taking both Morris and Goudelock in the second round, he gets two different looks to fulfill that goal. Given that they are both on second-round deals, he only needs one of them to stick. The fact that both guards have the upside to be rotation players -- in L.A. or elsewhere -- means the Lakers landed two solid assets late in a shallow pool. That's intelligent drafting.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:08 am

NBA Draft: Five biggest surprises

Posted by Royce Young

The build-up to this year's draft had a pretty wild feel to it. With the chance of a lockout ahead, teams appeared to be frantically positioning for a crazy night of trading and movement. A lot went according to plan. Kyrie Irving went No. 1 overall to Cleveland. Derrick Williams was taken right after by Minnesota. Enes Kanter went to Utah third.

There were some surprises though. Some players that dropped a bit farther than expected or climbed up the ladder to get taken four or five spots ahead of expectation. For instance, Josh Selby fell all the way down to 49 to Memphis, which is pretty remarkable. But the 49th overall pick is pretty unremarkable. So here are my biggest five draft night surprises:

1. Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers (4): Some prognosticators saw the Cavs going either with Jonas Valanciunas or Thompson here, especially with Kanter coming off the board to Utah at No. 3. But Thompson was mostly slated on big boards somewhere in the 7-10 region. The Cavs didn't necessarily reach on him, as they need more front court depth, but Thompson might've been available a couple slots lower as well.

I imagine the Cavs wanted Kanter and took their second choice with Thompson, but passing over Valanciunas is a bit surprising. The buyout issue for Valanciunas probably had a lot to do with it.

2. Iman Shumpert, PG, New York Knicks (17): The Knicks were hoping homegrown point guard Kemba Walker would somehow free fall to them at 17, but instead, New York picked up Shumpert, a junior guard out of Georgia Tech. The Knicks contingent in the building promptly said, "Who?" and commenced booing.

It's not a bad pick by any means, as the Knicks need a player to groom behind Chauncey Billups, plus, he does offer a little size and athleticism. Shumpert is 6-6 and already a terrific defender, something the Knicks need more than a good scorer. But 17 is a bit high for Shumpert since most saw him as a late first-round guy. Chris Singleton, Kenneth Faried and Marshon Brooks were still on the board at 17,  so some are curious why New York passed them over for Shumpert.

3. Markieff Morris, F, Phoenix Suns (13): Sort of a minor surprise here, but most figured younger brother Marcus was the higher ranked prospect of the two. Naturally, I had to wonder if maybe Lon Babby and the Suns just mixed the two up here. (Twin joke!) It is relatively interesting that Markieff, born seven minutes ahead of Marcus, was picked one spot ahead, almost exactly seven minutes earlier. Some things are just meant to be.

4. Jordan Hamilton, SF, Denver Nuggets (26): Hamilton was taken by the Mavericks and, after mass confusion, ended up being part of a three-way trade that sent him to Denver. But most had the Texas swingman pegged in the 15-20 range. And when he dropped past Houston at 23, it looked like almost a certainty that Oklahoma City would snatch him up at 24.

Yet, he was passed over. There was word that Texas coach Rick Barnes warned teams that Hamilton is uncoachable and that's the reason he slipped. A couple weeks ago he was a borderline lottery pick, but on draft night he barely survived the first round.

5. Corey Joseph, PG, San Antonio Spurs (29): Once the Spurs pushed the button on a trade to send George Hill to Indiana for Kawhi Leonard, you knew San Antonio was going to look to restock its depth. Just not many saw them targeting Joseph.

Joseph played one year at Texas and was a nice, highly-recruited defender, but didn't really impress many. He was pegged as a middle second round guy, so when David Stern called his name with the 29th pick, some were a bit shocked. He has the same frame as George Hill and might be able to settle into that exact some role. Plus, with the Spurs, everything they do seems brilliant. They're sort of like a new Radiohead album in that way. They escape the critics even when something doesn't quite add up because they've earned it with a glowing reputation.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 1:02 am

Report: Spurs trade George Hill for Kawhi Leonard

Posted by Matt Moore

Update 12:45 a.m.: Terms of the deal announced also include the rights to Davis Bertans, the 42nd pick, and the rights to a pick from 2005 unlikely to ever head to the NBA, both headed to the Spurs. The Spurs essentially received two draft picks and a foreign prospect for George Hill. Not bad. 

Original report:

CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman reports that the Spurs have acquired the 15th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Kawhi Leonard, for George Hill.

The Spurs had been actively trying to trade into the lottery, and wound up with a lottery-quality pick without even needing it to be in the lottery. Leonard is an athletic three that allows them to move Richard Jefferson for quarters on the dollar, and reload with an athletic forward who can rebound, score, and defend and who is ready to contribute now. He's got polish, ability, and resolve. He was underrated coming into the season, underrated coming into the draft, and fell all the way to the Pacers at 15. 

The Pacers get a legit combo guard to play the two in George Hill. Brandon Rush has not shown that he can play consistently at that spot. Paul George can operate at the small forward position, and provide defense in relief of Danny Granger, who is also rumored to be on the trade block. Hill can handle point guard duties if called on (though with Darren Collison and A.J. Price the Pacers aren't hurting for that) and will get to focus on offense for once after being asked to do supplementary things in San Antonio. 

Once again, the Spurs come out looking shrewd and in command. Leonard's a great pick-up for a great price, but you have to think the Spurs will go guard later in the draft to replace their depth. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com