Written on:October 18, 2017
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digging for windows – Déjà vu. It seemed eerily similar to the ending of last season. Swallowing the suddenness of the end to a season is hard enough without having to deal with the nervousness that you may also be watching a basketball icon leave the hardwood for the very last time. Having an abundance of basketball icons on one roster is certainly a good problem to have but it doesn’t make it easier that, in San Antonio, the prospect of having to say goodbye to one is now a perennial occurrence. But so it goes, and so it was on a balmy 78 degree evening in the Alamo City late last spring. With his left arm lifted, hand open, fingers separated like a truck driver feeling the breeze whisk through a wave suspended firmly outside an open window, Manu Ginobili scurried sheepishly off the court and towards the tunnel in the last game of his fifteenth season in #BlackAndSilver. It was as if the roaring adulation of the fans, chanting in unison “Manu, Manu, Manu,” was that wind whisking through his wave. As the Paul Bunyan of hoops (a player so magical, I carry his theatrics deep in my soul in a place reserved for sacred memories) disappeared into the tunnel, I won’t lie. I thought that was it. Like Number 21 a year earlier, I thought Number 20 was gone forever. After all, conventional wisdom suggested that at 39 years of age and after 15 consecutive years of squaring off against the likes of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, Steve Nash and the Seven Seconds or Less Suns, Chauncey Billups and the Bad Boys 2.0 Pistons, LeBron James and the Heatles, the KD-Westbrook Thunder, and most recently the Curry-Thompson-Green-KD (what?) Gluttony of More Warriors in playoff war after playoff war, the greatest player in Argentinian history had nothing left in the tank. After witnessing close to every single minute of his San Antonio Spurs basketball career, shame on me for not recognizing that (when it comes to Manu Ginobili) we can throw conventional wisdom straight out of the metaphorical truck window his hand was waving from as he walked off of the court last May after playing his heart out in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. Shame on me for not remembering that this all-time great player is an all-time great player because he’s unconventional and full of surprises. On July 19th, Manu Ginobili announced on his Twitter account that, at the age of 40, he would be returning to the San Antonio Spurs for his 16th NBA season. In the end, Manu’s wave was not a wave goodbye (or proof that sending franchise icons to the rafters has become a yearly tradition in San Antonio) but instead it was a wave of invitation for all of us to see what surprises he still has in store for us as he attempts to climb the mountain once again in 2017-18. I can’t wait.

Having Manu back in the fold for another title run softens the disappointment over how last season ended but it doesn’t completely take away those pesky What if questions. It’s hard not to wonder how a healthy Spurs squad would have faired against Golden State and Cleveland. While, sure, it would have been extremely difficult to win a title without Tony Parker, given what we know from the small sample we were afforded in the Western Conference Finals with Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs outscored the Warriors by 23 before The Klaw succumbed to his season-ending Zaza Pachulia take down (err… I mean, injury). Taking into consideration the dominating start to the series (and the fact that to a man the Warriors acknowledge that the Spurs would have won Game 1 had Kawhi remained healthy), would we have won that series with Kahwi available? I can’t say for sure but I can say I would have been scared to my very core if I were a Warriors fan. There is one thing that I know for certain. Based on the way we were playing to start Game 1, had we had both Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker playing at the level they had been playing at prior to their 2017 playoff injuries, the San Antonio Spurs would have won the 2017 NBA Championship. There is no doubt in my mind. But What ifs are What ifs for a reason. The reality is that on May 22nd, the Gluttony of More Golden State Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs 129-115 at the AT&T Center to win the 2017 Western Conference Finals in a sweep. And benefiting from former league MVP and current “path of least resistance” emperor Kevin Durant’s inexplicable decision to join the team that had ripped his heart out in the 2016 Western Conference Finals, Dub City went on to capture the 2017 NBA Championship, defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. Anecdotally, in an all-time example of the unfortunate reality that selling out sometimes pays off, Kevin Durant was named MVP of the 2017 Finals. Manu’s 15 point, seven assists, and three steals not withstanding, in Game 4 the player of this game was Kyle Anderson. In the very last game of his third season in the league, Slow Mo notched his first ever Black & Silver POTG honors with a 20 point, seven rebound, four steal, and two assist performance that show much promise that Kyle can fill an even bigger role on the squad in Year Four.

Fast forwarding to the summer, on top of the most heartwarming news (our aforementioned re-signing of Manu Ginobili) there was a great deal of transactional headlines being made on an almost daily basis in the National Basketball Association. Every contender in the league went nuts during this offseason to try to keep pace with the Warriors. The Rockets acquired Chris Paul to pair with James Harden. The Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler to lead their young talented combo of Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns. The Celtics acquired Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to put alongside Al Horford and a plethora of young talent. (Tough blow, Boston. Speedy recovery, Gordon Hayward.) The Thunder acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to arm reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook with elite weapons. The Cavaliers acquired former MVP Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and (maybe most importantly) former Finals MVP and three-time champion Dwyane Wade (getting the band back together) to bring reinforcements for Kevin Love and basketball’s greatest active player, LeBron James. There was, however, one contender that didn’t join the NBA’s arms race. You guessed it. Our San Antonio Spurs decided to get back to basics and spend the summer building from within. By all accounts, our young talent (Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, and Davis Bertans) worked their tails off in the summer to get better. Tony Parker and Kahwi Leonard (while not available tonight) are expected to make full recoveries from their injuries. Tony played like the champion he is during last season’s playoffs and if he can spend the next six months preparing to replicate that performance again this spring, everything he gives us during this regular season becomes simply icing on the cake. Kawhi has improved astronomically as a basketball player each and every offseason of his career. So much so that by the 2017 playoffs, he was the best basketball player in the world, in my opinion. Regardless of the injury, I expect his game to have taken the same leap this summer that it has every summer past and if it did, look out. If Kawhi made the same year-to-year leap again this offseason, his status as best basketball player in the world won’t merely be my opinion, it will be an objective fact. And the thing that brings to another reason I’m hopeful for our 2017-18 prospects: the remarkable developments in the marriage between LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs during this preseason. After facing criticism for failing to carry the team to even one win over the Warriors during his first trip to the Western Conference Finals, LaMarcus spent a good part of this summer dealing with constant trade rumors swirling around his head. According to reports, the Spurs pushed hard to move on from LA in order to put more young talent around Kawhi but a trade never materialized. As training camp approached, it became evident that LaMarcus was going to start the season in a San Antonio uniform and I think most of assumed that R.C. Buford would try to trade him again before the midseason deadline. Then something interesting happened. Reports started leaking that prior to training camp, LaMarcus Aldridge approached Gregg Popovich for a heart-to-heart to discuss his unhappiness about his role on the team. Unsurprisingly, connecting with Coach Pop in an intimate way yielded spectacular results with Aldridge coming out the other side of it feeling much better about his place in the Spurs family. He backed it up on the court during the preseason putting up all-star (per 36 minute) numbers. Then yesterday, in a move that seemed to come completely out of the blue, the San Antonio Spurs signed LA to a longterm contract extension through the 2020-21 season. I find this move to be remarkable because it almost certainly guarantees that LaMarcus Aldridge is going to be Kawhi Leonard’s primary sidekick as he moves through the prime of his career. While many Spurs fans might be uneasy about locking ourselves into this pairing, I think it’s fantastic. Keep in mind that with Leonard and Aldridge as our one-two punch the San Antonio Spurs are averaging 64 wins per season. There is nothing broken about that. Also, remember…this is who we are as a team. As stated earlier, we build from within. If LaMarcus Aldridge isn’t fitting perfectly into our system, our solution shouldn’t be to trade him. Our solution should be to rework the system, make him comfortable, and figure out a way to fully utilize a player that is still easily one of the ten best “bigs” in the league. It’s funny to me that because of his struggles in the Warriors series everyone seems to have forgotten that in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, LA went bananas to the tune of 34 points and 12 rebounds to close out James Harden and the Houston Rockets. If connecting on a human level with Coach Pop has finally allowed LaMarcus to feel comfortable in our system, I expect to see that beast-mode Rocket-dominating Aldridge on a nightly basis this season. And, man, am I excited about it. To summarize, since it’s better to say things late than never… Welcome to the Spurs family, LaMarcus.

And then there’s Coach Pop, himself. What did Coach Pop do during his summer vacation? Oh you know, he just spent the offseason repeatedly excoriating the so-called Leader of the Free World. If you’ve been living under a rock these past 48 hours, here’s what he said when he called up The Nation reporter Dave Zirin unsolicited on Monday to unload on Donald J. Trump:

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this president had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner—and to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers—is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this president should be ashamed, because they know better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

Man, I love it when Pop goes (off on) the weasel! What brings me the most hope of all that the San Antonio Spurs will capture the 2017-18 NBA Championship? You guessed it. Our coach. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the moral clarity Gregg Popovich has brought to our national political conversation since the 45th President of the United States of America was sworn in on January 20th. It is truly making a difference. His commentary on Donald J. Trump is resonating with leaders of the resistance movements in a remarkable way. Pop is speaking out and (whether we all want to admit it or not) the entire country is listening. Go Pop Go! While I’m proud of Pop’s patriotism, obviously his political speech is not reason enough to believe, against all of the predictions of the so-called experts, that we will capture our sixth Larry O’Brien trophy next June. Pop’s political convictions, however, are a reflection of a man, a team, an organization that knows who we are and knows what it takes to win. We’ve seen this movie before. You know, the one where the so-called experts overreact when other contenders load up on talent during the offseason to form allegedly unbeatable super teams while down in little ‘ole San Antonio, the Spurs are quietly going about the business of developing players and building a a team who’s sum is greater than its parts. Pop and the Spurs pound the rock day after day, week after week, month after month, until we’ve transformed ourselves into a well-oiled “super team” slaying machine. Pop’s developed a winning formula for building from within that can transform an ordinary roster capable of beating any amount of talent that is put together by our competitors. Had we stayed healthy, he would have proven that his formula works again last year. That’s okay. After staying pat this offseason, tonight he starts working on revising the script. This movie already has four sequels and with any luck in the injury department, we’re about to film the fifth. Now wiser than ever, Gregg Popovich is getting ready to Alfred Hitchcock the NBA once again. Get your popcorn ready because he might not only take down the defending champion Golden State Warriors in 2018 but perhaps a sitting U.S. president, as well. One thing is for sure. Manu Ginobili is back and will be right there alongside Pop for the former and should the latter happen…Manu will most certainly be waiving goodbye this time, at least as Donald J. Trump is shown the door.

#GoSpursGo


Featured Image Source: Zack da la Rocha on YouTube

Headline Image Source: San Antonio Express-News


The Kawhi Question

Written on:June 25, 2017

His offense or his defense? Could Kawhi get buckets on Kawhi?     His offense tho. His defense tho. Kawhi tho. #GoSpursGo Video Source: Jordan on YouTube Featured Image Source: jumpman23 on Instagram

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Written on:May 22, 2017

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Written on:May 19, 2017

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Written on:May 16, 2017

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Written on:May 11, 2017

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Written on:May 8, 2017

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Written on:May 6, 2017

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Cinco Triunfos

Written on:May 4, 2017

Rocket Man – And I think it’s going to be a long, long time till touchdown brings me around again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home. I mean, come on. This is insanity. Kahwi Leonard just obliterated James Harden and in so doing…the way the “experts” framed this year’s NBA MVP race. You need to take your “best two-way player in the game but…”…

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Tres Derrotas

Written on:May 2, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle – One of the great equalizers in military conflict is the element of surprise. Guerrilla tactics can often catch a superior army off guard to win a battle, especially in terrain as hostile as the jungle. Once the inferior army has successfully stunned the opponent through its initial guerrilla attack, it can use jungle terrain to its advantage to stay two steps ahead until the battle…

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Cuatro Triunfos

Written on:May 1, 2017

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Tres Triunfos

Written on:April 26, 2017

Let It Be – When I find myself in times of trouble, Manu Ginobili comes to me, bringing that grandpa juice, let it be. Welcome to the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Manu. In all sincerity, it really just wasn’t the same without you. I had a sneaking suspicion all day yesterday, as I nervously awaited tip off, that you would arrive in Game 5. Because of this hunch, there was no…

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Dos Derrotas

Written on:April 24, 2017

Heroes – Congratulations are in order for the city of Memphis. What a hard fought victory. In particular, congratulations are in order for Marc Gasol. What an incredible shot. Put more succinctly, what a heroic shot. With the weight of the entire Grit-N-Grind era of Memphis Grizzlies basketball quite literally hanging in the balance, Pau’s little bro aka Big Spain found the soft touch to deliver one of the biggest…

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Written on:April 22, 2017

HUMBLE. – If the last six months have taught us anything, it’s that whining can take you a long way in Donald Trump’s America. Case in point, Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale. Congratulations, Fizzy. Whining has now earned you a playoff victory against the San Antonio Spurs. In the least surprising development of the 2017 playoffs, to date, Memphis defeated San Antonio 105-94 on Thursday night to close the…

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Dos Triunfos

Written on:April 19, 2017

Good – What are we talking about? Data? We’re talking about data, man. We’re talking about data. We’re talking about data. We ain’t talking about the game. We’re talking about data, man. Different bat time, different bat channel, same bat story. The San Antonio Spurs have now defeated the Memphis Grizzlies an impressive ten straight times in the postseason after vanquishing our division rival 96-82 in Game 2 of the…

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Uno Triunfo

Written on:April 16, 2017

Forever – Last name EVER, first name GREATEST, like a sprained ankle, boy, that Black & Silver franchise ain’t nothin’ to play with. Wasn’t this whole thing supposed to have ended six years ago? I mean, I listened to the “experts” back then. When the San Antonio Spurs failed to advance to the conference finals for three consecutive seasons, starting in 2009, the “experts” told us the dynasty was dead….

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Thank You, Matt Bonner

Written on:January 7, 2017

Matt Bonner joined the San Antonio Spurs on June 21, 2006 via trade. The Red Rocket (along with Eric Williams) was traded from the Toronto Raptors for Rašo Nesterović and cash considerations. Despite only averaging 4.9 points in 11.7 minutes during his first season in San Antonio (2006-07), Bonner erupted in his second season to lead the Spurs to their fourth NBA championship, carrying former stars Tim Duncan, Tony Parker,…

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Four Behind

Written on:October 23, 2016

Take the Power Back – I’d never spent that much time thinking about it. I never really needed to. His performance was too consistent, his presence too permanent. Few things in life were as reliable. Tim Duncan was the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Spurs were Tim Duncan. It sounds so simple yet it’s the simplest things that are the easiest to take for granted. Sure, the unthinkable…

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Three Behind

Written on:May 12, 2016

Us and Them – I didn’t get to see it. I listened to it on the radio on my way to the airport. So, no, I didn’t see it, but I heard Bill Schoening tell me how player of the game Danny Green was tripped by Steven Adams into Kevin Durant with 54 seconds left in a ball game that was tied at 90 a piece. Yep, I heard all…

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Two Behind

Written on:May 10, 2016

Check the Rhime – Just before Thanksgiving last year, while back home visiting family and friends in Texas, I returned to the AT&T Center for the first time since the San Antonio Spurs fifth championship banner had been hung in the rafters. This was also my first time back in San Antonio since my wife and I moved to Denver, Colorado a few short weeks after our beloved Spurs had…

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Ten Ahead

Written on:May 8, 2016

Point of No Return – Well, that was not for the faint of heart. What a dogfight. I think it’s safe to say we can add this one to the list of legendary playoff street brawls on the road that the Tim Duncan led Spurs always seem to find ourselves in year after year. Thankfully, somehow and someway, San Antonio escaped Chesapeake Energy Arena (one of the most hostile environments…

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One Behind

Written on:May 6, 2016

Something in the Way – It’s funny what a difference 48 hours can make for a tribe of true believers who are in the middle of a noble quest to recapture basketball nirvana. For two weeks, we had been on top of the world. Invincible. Food never tasted better. The sun never shined brighter. Ordinary, day-to-day problems didn’t seem so bad. How could they if the Spurs are undefeated in…

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Eleven Ahead

Written on:May 1, 2016

Gotta Lotta – Every available player entered the game for the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of our Western Conference Semifinals series against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. Not only did all thirteen players enter the game, but impressively, all thirteen players scored at least one field goal during the contest. When it was all said and done, the Spurs had compiled a combined 51 made field goals…

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Twelve Ahead

Written on:April 30, 2016

The Background – It was the Fourth of July around 10:00 am when I heard the news. My wife and I were getting ready to head up into the mountains to visit with family and celebrate the holiday. Despite the fact that we were running late, as soon as the texts started popping up on my phone I had to stop packing my bag and investigate for myself. Sure enough,…

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Thirteen Ahead

Written on:April 24, 2016

Thieves in the Temple – Friday was Earth Day. One day after the passing of Prince, the world was still blanketing itself in purple showers. A resplendent purple Earth. At least that’s how I imagined our beautiful planet might have looked on Friday from outer space. I spent a fair amount of my day that day thinking about that sort of thing. Thinking about the precious gift that is our…

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Fourteen Ahead

Written on:April 22, 2016

Idioteque – Ice age coming, ice age coming. Let me play both sides, let me play both sides. The NBA has been put on notice. The Spurs are coming. Not only are we coming, but (over this past season) our starting small forward completed his mutation from an ordinary White Walker into the best two-way player in the game. It has been quite a transformation for the quiet, humble kid…

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Fifteen Ahead

Written on:April 19, 2016

Ignition (Remix) – Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a remix as “a variant of an original recording (as of a song) made by rearranging or adding to the original.” As a musician, I love remixes because they have a funny way of making things you’ve heard dozens (or even hundreds) of times before feel fresh and exciting. As we parted ways this past July, I left with this feeling that I get…

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Four Back

Written on:July 27, 2015

A Sky Full of Stars – Give hime credit. Chris Paul hit the shot of his life. The ball left his hand and passed by Tim Duncan’s finger tips (as the greatest active basketball player on the planet was closing quickly to block it) by the width of a piece of paper, but somehow it got by. The rejection of not only a basketball shot but also of Chris Paul…

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Three Back

Written on:May 2, 2015

Dreamcatcher – On Thursday nights, the Los Anegeles Clippers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 102-96 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio to tie the best-of-seven Western Conference First Round series at three games apiece. The decisive game seven will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in about two hours. The player of the game for the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night was Marco Belinelli. Marco…

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Three Forward

Written on:April 29, 2015

Over – I’m living life right now, man, and this what I’mma do ’til it’s over…’til it’s over. It’s far from over. In One Back (my first blog post of these 2015 playoffs), I predicted that “there are going to be moments of panic and moments of doubt for Spurs fans” during this title defense journey. Man, I wasn’t lying. Last night was intense. I have never been to Disneyland,…

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Two Back

Written on:April 26, 2015

Pompeii – Against my better angels, I did it. I’ll admit it. I know better, but somehow it still happened. I’ve been to this rodeo way too many times and yet I still couldn’t help myself. How does the proverb go? As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. Yep, that about sums it up. I allowed myself to get overconfident after the 27 point…

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Two Forward

Written on:April 25, 2015

Deliver – ¡Viva la Fiesta! Going into the AT&T Center in San Antonio as the road team and winning a playoff game is a difficult proposition. Going into the AT&T Center as the road team and winning a playoff game during Fiesta? There are few things harder in the NBA. Obviously, it is not impossible. Last year, the Dallas Mavericks came into our home during Fiesta and stole Game 2…

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One Forward

Written on:April 24, 2015

Ready or Not – Whew. Let me catch my breath. It’s been almost 48 hours, but I’m still feeling the effects of all the nervous energy it took to watch the most entertaining game of the 2015 NBA Playoffs thus far. That was big. On the verge of falling into a disastrous 0-2 hole on Wednesday night in Los Angeles at the Staples Center, the defending champion San Antonio Spurs…

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One Back

Written on:April 22, 2015

What’s Up? – As my good friend and bombastic pop culture writer, Ken Adams, might say: howdy boys and girls. Welcome to the third installment of the Black & Silver blog series. I’m thrilled to be embarking on yet another San Antonio Spurs playoff run with all of you, the loyal readers. What an exciting time. It’s spring, it’s Fiesta back home in San Antonio, and the Spurs are defending…

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The San Antonio Spurs Visit the White House

Written on:January 13, 2015

On Monday, January 12, 2015, the San Antonio Spurs were invited to the White House by President Barack Obama for a ceremony in the East Room honoring the team’s 2014 NBA Championship. This is the fifth White House ceremony for the Spurs as an organization spanning 15 years and three U.S. presidents. Head coach Gregg Popovich and power forward Tim Duncan, having been in those roles for all five championships,…

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Spurs Special Forces

Written on:January 9, 2015

A new and exciting vehicle for expressing adoration for the professional basketball franchise located in San Antonio, TX has emerged on the blogosphere over the past couple of years. What, you ask, is this new phenomenon that I’m referring to? I guess I would most accurately describe it as Spurs Fan Fiction. It is, indeed, a quite recent phenomenon thats arrival I would best pin point to the summer of…

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Sixteen Down

Written on:July 31, 2014

Wish You Were Here – I clutched the rose on my necklace and peered blankly at the television screen. Moments earlier, I had been standing with my wife, Jenn, in the center of the living room. After screaming, receiving a spectacular hug and then exhaling when it finally happened, I subsequently retreated to the couch and sat down utterly exhausted. I couldn’t move. I quickly realized that my momentary euphoria…

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One Left

Written on:June 15, 2014

Juicy – It was all a dream… All thirteen players that suited up for the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals dotted the box score with at least two points. Yes, thirteen players scored for one team in an NBA Finals game. This has never happened before. The NBA expanded the active roster for an NBA game from 12 to 13 players during the lockout-shortened…

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Two Left

Written on:June 12, 2014

City of Blinding Lights – It has been quite a long time since the San Antonio Spurs have had a superstar basketball player on our roster who was born on the American mainland. 29 years to be exact. “How could this be?” you ask. Well, Tony Parker obviously doesn’t fit that criteria. He was born in Bruges, Belgium on May 17, 1982. Manu Ginobili obviously doesn’t fit the criteria either….

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Seven Right

Written on:June 9, 2014

Starin’ Through My Rear View – The Miami Heat lead the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals five to four after coming into the AT&T Center last night and stealing Game 2 of this year’s series 98-96 in front of 18,581 properly cooled off Spurs fans. My fear coming into last night was that the Heat were capable of stealing Game 2 by forcing the Spurs into committing an…

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Three Left

Written on:June 7, 2014

Revolution 1 – “You say you got a real solution, well you know, we’d all love to see…” the fan. “You ask me for a contribution, well you know, we’re all doing what we can.” It is true. The San Antonio Spurs had not paid the electric bill for the power used at the AT&T Center in almost a year. However, this is not a story about a sports franchise…

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Four Left

Written on:June 5, 2014

Here Now – It was a devastating way to lose the NBA Finals. When you’re up three games to two and you have a lead on the road in the last minute of the fourth quarter of Game 6, you have the trophy so close within reach that you can almost scape a fingernail on it. Even though no lead is ever safe in the NBA, the reason why you…

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Five Left

Written on:May 30, 2014

C.R.E.A.M. – Championships rule everything around me, C.R.E.A.M., get the trophy. Baller, baller skill y’all. For the seventh consecutive home playoff game, the San Antonio Spurs blew out our opponent last night defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-89 at the AT&T Center to take a 3-2 lead in the 2014 Western Conference Finals. In a surprising tactical adjustment, Coach Pop started Matt Bonner instead of Tiago Splitter in order to…

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Six Right

Written on:May 28, 2014

Californication – Last night, an irrationally unsettled Scott Brooks played Russell Westbrook 45 minutes in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 105-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Midway through the third quarter, with the Spurs down by 20 points, Gregg Popovich pulled his top six players and let his third string play the remaining 18 minutes of the game. After the Spurs bench…

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Five Right

Written on:May 26, 2014

Hot – The writing was on the wall from the first Oklahoma City shot attempt of the ball game. When Serge Ibaka calmly drained the first bucket with his lethal mid-range jumper and the crowd exploded as if Jesus had taken the stage at a Pat Robertson led evangelical revival, it was more than clear that the Thunder had meticulously planned for Game 3. This meticulous planning, however, did not…

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Six Left

Written on:May 24, 2014

All Along The Watchtower – There are two things that you need to know about Danny Green. The first is that Danny Green loves animals. And the second? Danny Green lives downtown and apparently his property is conveniently located near a KFC with a great lunch special because if you give him an ounce of daylight, Danny Green gets buckets. The Oklahoma City Thunder are quickly learning that the San…

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Seven Left

Written on:May 20, 2014

Around the Block – Legend has it that there is a gunslinger who resides out west with a draw that is so fast that it defies the physical laws of time and space. They say that he is so quick that he can do what takes the fastest of shooters almost a second to do (namely catch, TURN, and shoot) in just a fraction of that time. Yes, rumor has…

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Eight Left

Written on:May 18, 2014

B.O.B. – When the hip hop duo, OutKast, released their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, on April 26, 1994, Tim Duncan had just wrapped up his freshman season at Wake Forest. Fast forward twenty years and OutKast is the most buzzed about act on this year’s summer music festival circuit and Tim Duncan is making his twentieth appearance in the NCAA or NBA postseason. In the past 20 years, OutKast has sold…

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Four Right

Written on:May 14, 2014

Santeria – It was just one of those things. On the way to the Moda Center for Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, a Portland TriMet bus came out of no where to inappropriately violate the space of one of the Spurs’ team buses. Or maybe the driver of the Spurs’ bus simply swerved after seeing that a snake was suspiciously slivering right smack dab down the center of…

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Nine Left

Written on:May 11, 2014

Time Is The Enemy – At the St. Mary’s University graduation ceremony yesterday, one of the graduates ripped off his robe after walking the stage to reveal that he had written “Go Spurs Go” on his chest. Now, besides being hilarious, that was just about as #BlackAndSilver…#playoffs as it gets and, as it turns out, it was also just about the most dramatic thing that happened yesterday with regards to…

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Ten Left

Written on:May 9, 2014

Heirplanes – In another brilliant performance, two-time NBA all-star and first-time MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard took the air out of the Staples Center last night with a suffocating all-around display of his versatile skills as a basketball player. The Los Angeles Lakers seemed flabbergasted with their inability to contain Leonard on either end of the court as Kawhi, who is this generation’s closest attempt at reincarnating the talents of Scottie…

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Eleven Left

Written on:May 7, 2014

Public Service Announcement – “Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is…” Marc – O, B to the Elinell – E, I used to move them J’s by the O-Z. I guess even back then you could call me, CEO of the T-R-E. When Marco Belinelli hit two long jumpers curling off of screens to score five points during the fourth quarter of the San Antonio Spurs blowout Game 7…

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Twelve Left

Written on:May 5, 2014

Wild International – The San Antonio Spurs organization should strongly consider sending a case of HEB salsas to Paul Pierce of the Brooklyn Nets, as a small token of our appreciation. Pierce provided a valuable assist in the effort to save the Spurs season yesterday afternoon when he blocked Kyle Lowry’s driving layup attempt at a series clinching game winner for the Toronto Raptors in their first round match up…

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Three Right

Written on:May 3, 2014

Free Fallin’ – At the precipice of climbing all the way out of the eleven point first half hole that San Antonio had dug for ourselves, and clinching a hard fought first round series in the process, the Spurs defense fell off the cliff with 11 minutes left in Game 6 against the Mavericks last night. Ahead by seven, and on the verge of pushing the lead to double digits,…

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Thirteen Left

Written on:May 1, 2014

The OtherSide – Within 24 hours of the birth of his first child, son Josh, and on little to no sleep, Tony Parker came up aces in Game 5 of the Western Conference, First Round series with Dallas. The Spurs defeated the Mavericks 109-103 last night at home in front of a fiery crowd at the AT&T Center to take a three games to two lead over our in-state rivals….

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Fourteen Left

Written on:April 29, 2014

With a Little Help From My Friends – “What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?” Last night, the San Antonio Spurs endured another big stretch in the second half where we couldn’t find the right pitch on offense and, as a result, we came dangerously close to having every fair weather fan in South Texas jump off of…

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Two Right

Written on:April 27, 2014

The National Anthem – Apparently, Two Right makes a wrong and it is now apparent that something is noticeably wrong with the San Antonio Spurs since I’m having TO WRITE this only three games into the 2014 NBA Playoffs. In contrast, last year, we didn’t lose our second game of the playoffs until Game 4 of our second round match-up with the Golden State Warriors. Call it a miracle, lucky…

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One Right

Written on:April 25, 2014

Zambony – On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks came back to the AT&T Center to challenge the San Antonio Spurs to another game of basketball. Unfortunately, the Spurs players came to the arena expecting to play Dallas in ice hockey. San Antonio might have actually fared better had we sent the Rampage players out on to the court because it appeared that, to a man sans Manu Ginobili, the Spurs…

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Fifteen Left

Written on:April 23, 2014

Free Bird – On the evening of Thursday, April 3rd, I turned the television off after having watched the San Antonio Spurs’ 19 game winning streak come to an end on the road and at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. My good friend, Ryan, called me almost immediately after the game ended but I didn’t answer the call because, given the fact that he is not a Spurs…

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Six Up

Written on:July 27, 2013

Shake It Out – Intellectually, I understand the merits of the worldview that argues that it is irrational for me, as a spectator, to get emotionally invested in the outcome of a sporting event when it does not have a direct impact on my own life. I understand the rationale behind treating sports as escapism, as a distraction from the rigors of everyday life, and to enjoy the injunction from…

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Five Up

Written on:June 19, 2013

One More Time – Potentially seconds away from the roof being blown off the building, and with the AT&T Center the loudest I have ever heard it in all of the countless visits that I have made inside the arena that Tim Duncan built, 18,000 people were simultaneously stricken with the same nightmare. What was setting up to be one of the most special places to be in America late…

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Fifteen Down

Written on:June 17, 2013

Come Together – Sometimes, when a photogenically challenged former Weight Watchers spokes model whispers softly into the vast open spaces of an empty arena, the fleeting sounds still travel far enough to awaken a sleeping giant. Manu Ginobili erupted out of hibernation last night to add another chapter to one of the most Paul Bunyanesque folklore inspiring legends of a sports career that our generation has ever seen, earning player…

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Four Up

Written on:June 15, 2013

Not Afraid – The San Antonio Spurs lead the Miami Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals 382-377 (cumulative scoring). Win by 36 or win by 16, San Antonio and Miami are now tied at two victories a piece and in case you haven’t noticed…it is really, really, really close. On Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs spoiled a growing hope in the city to celebrate a championship by winning this…

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Fourteen Down

Written on:June 12, 2013

Party Like It’s 1999 – What if I were to tell you that a thunder storm and a high school graduation ceremony caused one of the greatest shooting performances in NBA Finals history? If you would like to know how, you have a choice to make. [Note: I have just held out a blue pill in one of my hands and a red pill in the other] If you take…

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Three Up

Written on:June 10, 2013

All of the Lights – Shane Battier put a three up from 25 feet out with 18 seconds left in the game (5 seconds left on the shot clock) and with the Miami Heat ahead of the San Antonio Spurs by 18 points. Battier would probably say, if asked, that his motivation was simply to try to put up one more attempt to see if he could get himself out…

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Thirteen Down

Written on:June 8, 2013

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Welcome to the circus. The White Stripes blared through the PA system while nearly 20,000 hysterical Miami fans chanted in unison as the Birdman led a contingent of the Heat players in some sort of strange ritualistic hybrid bounce-dance number with periodic fire flames flaring behind them. This Miami pregame introduction was reminiscent of the obnoxiously premature pep rally held by the Heat upon the…

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Twelve Down

Written on:May 29, 2013

Same As It Ever Was – Patience is a critical attribute for people of faith. Without the fortitude to believe with steadfast patience, people are likely to lose faith sooner or later. A prolonged void from seeing hope manifested with one’s own two eyes does not bode well for keeping faith over the convenience of instant gratification, especially in today’s culture of lighting fast information and perpetual distraction. Without patience,…

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Eleven Down

Written on:May 26, 2013

Hustle & Flow – For the second game in a row, the San Antonio Spurs went to overtime against the Memphis Grizzlies and for the second game in a row, Tim Duncan came through in the clutch. The Spurs defeated the Grizzlies 104 to 93 last night to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. The 93 points put up by Memphis is the most that the Spurs…

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Ten Down

Written on:May 24, 2013

Once It Hits Your Lips – And the Tony goes to…Tony Allen hit the floor, holding his head, writhing in pain. If you had missed the play and you had just seen the aftermath you would have thought that Manu Ginobili had grabbed Allen out of mid air, body slammed him to the ground, bent down and karate chopped him in the head, and then spit in his face for…

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Nine Down

Written on:May 20, 2013

Coming Home – The San Antonio Spurs defense continued to impress yesterday afternoon as they held their opponent to under 92 points and 47 percent shooting for the third straight playoff game defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 105 to 83 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs most dominating performance of the playoffs (thus far) came at an opportune time given that this opponent had parlayed a Game…

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Eight Down

Written on:May 18, 2013

Back to Black – The San Antonio Spurs are heading back to the Western Conference Finals for the eighth time during the Tim Duncan era after eliminating the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals on Thursday night. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94 to 82 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California to win a hard fought series and squelch the infectious hopes of a nation…

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Seven Down

Written on:May 15, 2013

The Show Goes On – Last night, for the first time in this hard fought second round series with Golden State, San Antonio played Spurs basketball consistently for 48 minutes en route to a 109 to 91 blowout victory over the Warriors. Mark Jackson’s self-proclaimed “greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history” was completely locked up by Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson managed a combined 13…

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Two Up

Written on:May 13, 2013

Us Against the World – After going up against 19,596 fans, 5 players, and apparently 3 referees, the world was definitely against the #BlackAndSilver yesterday afternoon in Oracle Arena as the Spurs fell in overtime to the Warriors 97 to 87. San Antonio, up 8 points with 4 minutes to play, blew a golden opportunity to put a stranglehold on this series. On the verge of going up 3 games…

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Six Down

Written on:May 12, 2013

Going (going) back (back) to Cail – The San Antonio Spurs are often referred to as the Silver and Black. When I decided to start a Spurs blog as a subsidiary of theLeftAhead, one of the reasons for landing on the name Black & Silver was that throughout their dynastic era, the Spurs have proven time in and time out that they can go into the most hostile of situations…

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One Up

Written on:May 9, 2013

Kawhi’s Quest to Curry Favor as the Second Coming of Bruce Bowen (A Novel) – Kawhi Leonard’s ability to defend Stephen Curry will be a key factor in whether or not the Spurs will prevail in this series. Last night, in chapter two of this saga, Kawhi did an admirable job limiting Curry to 22 points on 7-20 shooting. I can only recall a couple of times that Curry scored…

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Five Down

Written on:May 7, 2013

Warriors, come out to play (e-ay) – Well, they sure did. Stephen Curry lived up to the hype, torching the Spurs for 44 points and 11 assists last night. Curry broke a close game wide open in the third quarter by going absolutely bonkers. He had 22 points in the period, compiling that insane total by hitting ridiculous shot after ridiculous shot. It didn’t matter who we threw at him…

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Four Down

Written on:April 29, 2013

Lights Out, Guerrilla Radio – It was two minutes into the third quarter when Dwight Howard, well, went all Dwight Howard and got himself ejected from Game 4 of the Los Angeles Lakers first round series with the San Antonio Spurs last night, effectively ending one of the worst experiments of throwing team chemistry out the window to chase the allure of superstar talent melding in NBA history. After Howard’s…

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Three Down

Written on:April 27, 2013

The Battle Of Los Angeles – Last night, the LA Lakers waved the white flag of surrender rather than making a stand against the San Antonio Spurs in their home city. The #BlackAndSilver manhandled them 120 to 89, dealing the historic franchise their worst home defeat in playoff history. While the writing has been on the wall for some time regarding this disastrous season for the Lakers, keep in mind…

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Two Down

Written on:April 25, 2013

Last night the #BlackAndSilver held strong on their home court defeating the LA Lakers again 102 to 91. Even though the Lakers injury problems just seem to keep getting worse, we shouldn’t feel sorry for them (they have had more than their fair share of good luck over the years) nor should be write them off; they’re still dangerous. Game 2 was a much more focused, dominant performance with several…

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One Down

Written on:April 21, 2013

In a thrilling addition to an already amazing first weekend of Fiesta, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Los Angeles Lakers this afternoon 91 to 79 at the AT&T Center. There is no place quite like San Antonio for this time of year. Can’t nobody check the city right now. ¡Viva la fiesta! …from the top of the world.                 #BlackAndSilver #GoSpursGo

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That Good Ole, Dreadful Feeling

Written on:June 1, 2012

You had almost forgotten how a day like today feels. The nervousness. The doubt. The utterly terrible nagging that permeates deep in your gut from the moment that you wake up. Upon noticing it while yawning after your alarm goes off, you already know that it won’t subside at any point during the day. Sure, you rise out of bed, grab a cup of water and three Advil to dust…

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The Hack-A-Shaq Debate

Written on:May 20, 2012

Yesterday afternoon, with three minutes and 14 seconds left in Game 3 of the second round playoff series between the LA Clippers and San Antonio, the Spurs were protecting a 13 point advantage when Spurs Coach, Gregg Popovich, decided to implement the Hack-A-Shaq defensive strategy on Clipper forward, Reggie Evans. The Spurs proceeded to intentionally foul Evans, who is a notoriously poor free throw shooter, in hopes of stifling the…

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BIG

Written on:May 16, 2012

BIG [San Antonio Spurs Playoff Promo]   “It’s the quiet guys you should fear, because words are small and game is BIG.”     Source: Antonio Medrano III on YouTube

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Rhime Divine – Hate Us Now [Spurs Remix]

Written on:May 7, 2012

    Rhime Divine – Hate Us Now [Spurs Remix] Intro: Ted James They said the Lakers wanted to match wits (aight, aight) They said we couldn’t beat the champions (say what?) You can shove that up your asterisks (gone fishing) Because we just did them something tragic (yeah, ye-yeah) Chorus: D-Wattz You can hate us now But we can’t stop now You can hate SA-Town You can hate us…

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Faith in a Resurrection

Written on:May 2, 2012

WRITER’S NOTE: To inaugurate the launch of Black & Silver: theSanAntonioSpurs blog presented by theLeftAhead, I am posting an article that I wrote during the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs when the Spurs were trailing the Memphis Grizzlies 3 games to 1. Luckily, this year the Spurs are off to a better start! They are leading the Utah Jazz 1 game to 0 after defeating them in the…

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Message to Spurs Sports & Entertainment L.L.C. Chairman Peter Holt

Written on:March 7, 2012

Mr. Holt: I am a life-long supporter of the San Antonio Spurs and have been a frequent attender of Spurs games at each the AT&T Center, the Alamodome, and Hemisfair Arena. One way or another, I try desperately to never miss a game. I have been in attendance at many wonderful moments in Spurs history, but I experience the vast majority of the team’s games through the organization’s media outlets…

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Spurs Deal George Hill to the Pacers

Written on:June 24, 2011

The San Antonio Spurs have tradeed 6th man George Hill to the Indiana Pacers for the draft rights to 6-7 San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard, 6-10 Latvian forward Davis Bertans, and 2005 second round pick Erazem Lorbek, a 6-10 center playing in Spain.  Leonard the cornerstone of the Spurs end of the deal is an athletic, tough-minded small forward who can play lockdown defense and rebound.  Perimeter defense and rebounding were both…

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Tim Duncan Is Still Setting the Bar

Written on:June 8, 2011

Tim Duncan IS Still Setting the Bar Evaluating the Greatest NBA Players in the Post-Jordan Era With the news last week of Shaquille O’Neal’s retirement from the Boston Celtics and in the mist of an entertaining NBA Finals, I thought this would be an appropriate time to open up a debate here at theLeftAhead.com about the best NBA player in the post-Michael Jordan era. I don’t mean since 2003, when…

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