Though the NBA lockout is officially underway, the Los Angeles Lakers are one team still making non-player moves.
The Lakers recently hired former Spurs assistant coach Mike Brown as their new head coach. Now, the Daily News in Los Angeles is reporting that the Lakers will hire former Austin Toros head coach Quin Snyder and former Spur Chuck Person as Brown's assistants.
In other news, the Lakers are expected today to announce the hiring of Quin Snyder as an assistant coach.
It has been reported that Chuck Person, Ettore Messina and Jim Boylen also will be hired as assistants.
Snyder spent three seasons as the Toros head coach before taking a job with the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
Person played with the Spurs from 1994-1998. He left one year before the team won it's first championship, during a lockout year, in 1999. Last season, Person was an assistant coach to Phil Jackson with the Lakers, so he's familiar with the most of the current players.
Though the NBA lockout is officially underway, the Los Angeles Lakers are one team still making non-player moves.
Dime Magazine's Sean Sweeney recently revealed his list of the NBA's ten toughest players for an award he called the Matt Harprings, named after current Utah Jazz color commentator and the former Jazz forward, who was known as one of the league's most tenacious players.
Named along with Boston's Paul Pierce, Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, Phoenix's Steve Nash and Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant was Spurs guard Manu Ginobili.
Sweeney says Ginobili made his list after he learned to respect Ginobili over his nine-year NBA career and saw Ginobili actually play with just one arm without receving the fanfare or comparisons to Willis Reid Celtics guard Rajon Ronda received this past offseason.
Flopping aside, I’ve learned to respect Ginobili over the years. He went from annoying to awesome. I could watch him play all day now. Remember during this postseason when Rajon Rondo was being celebrated as the next Willis Reed? “I can’t believe this! What heart! He’s playing with one arm!” Well Ginobili ACTUALLY WAS playing with one arm. And he still gave Memphis 20 a night. Ginobili doesn’t care about the critics or the love. He’s just a nasty competitor (and rarely says a word about it all).
In my opinion, he’s easily one of the toughest players who’s ever played this game.
Once you look back and realize he managed to increase his numbers, to average a team-leading 20.6 points, 4.2 assists and four rebounds per game, all while suffering from an arm injury that wasn't fully healed, you'll see Ginobili is even tougher than his bat-swatting reputation.
As reported last week by Project Spurs' Paul Garcia, Adam Hanga - Spurs' 2011 NBA draftee - was in San Antonio to acclimate himself with the team and take in the Alamo City.
After his visit to San Antonio, he is back in Hungary and spoke with Nemzeti Sport Online on his visit with the Spurs.
First off, Hanga felt the trip to San Antonio was "super cool" and was very excited to see Tim Duncan's and Tony Parker's locker in the Spurs' locker room.
Hanga went on to say the Spurs were able to talk with him about what the team plans to do with him, ran him through some training sessions, went through a medical check up, and even gave him a plan to improve. Specifically, he said San Antonio told him he needs to get stronger and gave him a training plan to follow during the summer.
Hanga also spoke on his tour of the Spurs practice facility and said everything about the facility was professional, modern, and loved the fact the billiard tables in the facility had the Spurs' logo across the tables.
He further said despite the NBA lockout, he will still continue to workout, get himself ready should the Spurs bring him over and he was happy to get a Spurs' sports bag, socks, T-shirt, and pants for his summer training.
Hanga also takes comfort in the Spurs' great reputation of incorporating foreign basketball players and points to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili as prime examples.
Overall, Hanga says his visit with the Spurs only inspired him to work hard and feels he could be offered a contract by the Spurs in two seasons if he puts in the work.
Since the source is a Hungarian news website, Hanga's answers are a rough English translation as provided by Google Translate.
As the NBA lockout is set to begin after the stroke of midnight, and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt was not satisfied in what the players union proposed according to the NBA's deputy commissioner Adam Silver via TNT's basketball analyst David Aldridge via Twitter:
Silver: players recommended system w/$6M avg salary in year six, $7M in year seven. Spurs owner Peter Holt said that was unacceptable.
Holt is in the same ball park as a lot of the smaller NBA markets. For him and the Spurs franchise, these negotiations have to be productive and profitable because for teams like San Antonio, Milwaukee, Memphis, etc., they need more financial support in the event the market isn't going so well. Not to mention staying competitive with other large market teams such as Los Angeles, New York or Chicago while not losing money.
As Project Spurs' Trevor Zickgraf reported earlier:
Yesterday, Project Spurs' Michael De Leon brought you an article about San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili expressing that he felt the Spurs' title window hasn't closed.
The website Basquetplus.com has more on the interview with Ginobili. In the interview, Ginobili speaks on how he feels Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola is more important today to the Argentinian National team, he speaks on former Spur Fabricio Oberto's health, talks about the lockout that is set to strike at midnight, and even reveals how his children have changed his view on life.
The translation is rough as I used a translator tool to interpret the text.
Perhaps the most interesting thing Ginobili had to say is that he will play in Europe should the lockout extend past December:
'I do not think, unless you cancel the entire season. If suspended in January if I would go. I [cannot] be a whole year without playing.
As the lockout out is set to begin tonight, Ginobili had an idea the lockout was coming and gives his opinion:
The lockout is going to happen, I just hope that is short, otherwise we will lose much everyone. I, I know, I think the season is going to play and start in December,
Ginobili expresses that in the 2011 World Championships, Rockets forward Luis Scola will be a more important piece than he for the Argentine National team:
After a three-hour meeting in New York City, NBA owners informed the NBA Player's Association that they would be locked out at 12:01 eastern standard time. None of the parties involved seemed especially surprised by this news and both sides remained cordial after the meeting was over, at least in front of the media.
Here is what San Antonio Spurs' Matt Bonner had to say about the lockout:
"We tried to avoid the lockout," Spurs forward and union VP Matt Bonner said. "Unfortunately we did not reach a deal. We’re going to keep working at it and hopefully get something done."
Owners are seeking a large overhaul from the current financial system. Depending on what report you read, anywhere from 17 to 22 teams lost money last season. Under the current deal, players pull in 57% of the basketball related income (BRI). Several different analysts say the end game for the owners is to get the number down to 50%.
The last time this happened in 1998, a deal wasn't struck until January of 1999. Not sure how these negotiations will unfold, but I'm sure owners, players and fans alike are hoping a deal gets done before that.
Also, the Spurs are 1-0 in lockout shortened seasons, so us Spurs fans have got that going for us.
Draft Night 2011 was a big night for the San Antonio Spurs.
It signaled they are in a rebuilding mode of sorts after years of conservative moves while keeping the core rotation players intact they went and traded George Hill for the rights to Kawhi Leonard, Davis Bertans and Erazem Lorbek.
The Spurs also ended up taking Cory Joseph, point guard from Texas, and Adam Hanga a shooting guard from Hungary. The American players acquired on draft night are for the most part known quantities.
What is almost always a mystery to American basketball fans is the ability of the Euro players the team picked up on draft night. Prior to the draft, fans hear comparisons made by analysts of these Euro prospects to established NBA players.
In 2003 you heard things about Darko Milicic like '' He's Dirk Nowitski with an attitude'." I don't think anyone of us can forget the Nikoloz Tskitishvili debacle that ended with him in 2008 being cast by ESPN's Adam Reisinger as the worst NBA draft lottery pick ever selected at 5th overall.
Thankfully for Spurs fans, the Spurs have never made a huge gaffe like that. I'd argue they have never missed when drafting an international prospect ever. These three Euro players - Bertans, Lorbek, and Hanga - are all very well respected prospects, or in the case of Lorbek being too old to be a prospect, a respected player in the Euroleagues.
Here is a run down of what they bring to the table as players, and what potential growth they have in the future.
Davis Bertans: 6'10'', 210 lbs., 18-years old, F/C Latvia
Former San Antonio Spurs player Stephen Jackson was introduced to the media as the newest member of the Milwaukee Bucks today and what he said made you think both "maybe Stephen Jackson has changed," and "Nope, Cap'n Jack hasn't changed one bit," at the same time.
"Obviously, I regret the whole situation," Jackson said. "I regret it, because if I think about it, I would have never went in the stands."
Yet right after Jackson said he was misunderstood, he then quickly reminded everyone he's still the same old Stephen Jackson.
Well this is interesting.
Denver Nuggets center Nene has opted out of his contract, passing up nearly $12 million to become an unrestricted free agent.
Denver did try to sign him before today but Nene stuck to his guns and is free to sign with any NBA team. So with the San Antonio Spurs desperately needing a big man, could the Spurs target him?
The 6'11" Nene posted 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds, shot 61.5% from the field, and 71.1% from the free-throw this past season and is exactly what the Spurs need. But with the Spurs and their salary cap issues, there is no way they can sign him out right.
The Spurs would have to do a sign and trade to bring the big man from Brazil to San Antonio but that would mean giving up either Tony Parker, packaging a deal some of the Spurs younger players, or convincing Denver to take Richard Jefferson and his ungodly contract. However, Denver does have Ty Lawson on board at point and Parker would be an upgrade which could prove attractive for Denver. But will Denver send a conference rival a high-caliber player like Nene?
Making issues a bit more tenuous for San Antonio is the fact Tim Duncan exercised his ETO for $21 million which severely hurts the Spurs' financial flexibility to get a player like Nene who will be looking for a long-term deal and a pay day.
In the end, I'm sure the Spurs will do their due diligence and see if anything can be done to add Nene but it will be a bit tough.
What do you have to say Spurs fans?
On this episode of the Spurscast, Jeff and I were joined by Project Spurs lead writer Paul Garcia and staff writers Jake Faunce and Trevor Zickgraff to discuss the San Antonio Spurs draft night.
We talked about our first thoughts when the George Hill trade was announced, and what we thought about the group of players San Antonio is bringing in due to the trade and their other two picks.
We all agree Kawhi Leonard will be a welcome addition, but question whether or not Cory Joseph is ready to come in and take over the backup point guard reins after only one year in college.
We also talked about what the Spurs could be getting out of their draft-and-stash players including Davis Bertans, Erazem Lorbek and Adam Hanga.
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