San Antonio's News 4 WOAI invited Project Spurs' very own Mike De Leon to take part in their Sports Talk Death Match!
In the Death Match, Mike tackled topics such on the San Antonio Spurs' draft selections, should the Spurs have traded up in the draft, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup without Team U.S.A.
Did Mike survive the Sports Talk Death Match? See how far he went!
Thanks to WOAI for inviting Project Spurs yet again to be a part of the show!
If you look at some of the other teams in the NBA, their coaching staff or front-office might have a familiar face or two if you are a San Antonio Spurs fan.
From ex-players to ex-coaches, the Spurs have produced several leaders who move on to get their own shot of success. Let’s take a look at a few and how they have panned out after leaving the Spurs.
Ferry played for the Spurs from 2000 to 2003. After lacing them up for the Spurs, he then worked in the Spurs' front office from 2003 to 2005. Ferry was in charge of basketball operations and was a very active member of draft-day war-rooms.
In 2005, the Cleveland Cavaliers signed Ferry to a five-year deal to become their new General Manager. He proved he was willing to do what it takes to put together the best team possible to get LeBron James the help he needed to get to the NBA Finals.
Ferry added Mike Brown as a head coach in 2005 and then began to reshape the organization's identity by adding depth to the Cavaliers' roster. Mo Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe and Antawn Jamison are just a few players that Ferry brought to Cleveland.
The Cavaliers made it to two Eastern Conference Finals (2007 and 2009) and to the NBA Finals in 2007 where they lost in four games to the Spurs.
He recently resigned from the Cavaliers as G.M. of the Cleveland Cavaliers but he did have a measure success while he was there in the land of King (LeBron) James.
Brown was a Spurs’ assistant coach from 2000 to 2003.
After winning an NBA championship with the Spurs in 2003, he was hired by Rick Carlisle to be an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers in 2004. Brown helped the Pistons get to the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2005 Brown replaced then interim head coach of the Cavaliers, Brendan Malone.
After taking over, Brown led them to a 42-22 record and clinched the number four seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Cavaliers defeated the Washington Wizards in the first-round before losing in the second-round to the Detroit Pistons in a wild seven-game series battle.
In the 2006-2007 season, the Cavaliers earned the number two seed in the East and got a rematch against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. Brown and the Cavaliers would get the better of the Pistons and make it to the NBA Finals to face the Spurs. Spurs fans know how that championship series ended.
Despite having the best record in the NBA in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 NBA season, the Cavaliers never made it back to the NBA Finals.
Brown was released from coaching duties on May 24, 2010. He finished 272-138 coaching record (.663 winning percentage) in the regular season and finished 42-29 (.592 winning percentage) in the post season.
Williams played for the Spurs from 1995 to 1998.
When he retired from the NBA, Spurs' coach, Gregg Popovich, brought him along to learn the ropes of coaching. From picking up sweaty towels, to watching video tape, Williams did all this for no pay to gain the experience and tap into the coaching knowledge of Popovich.
In 2005, Williams was hired by Nate McMillan as an assistant coach for the Portland Trailblazers. With Williams on the coaching staff, the Trailblazers would work to a 41-41 record, their best since the 2003-2004 NBA season. Despite key injuries which plagued the Trailblazers, the coaching staff, along with Williams, showed its grit by leading the team into the playoffs this past NBA season.
These are just a few of the many “students” to come through the San Antonio Spurs organization. Come back to Project Spurs next week for part II of the Spurs' family tree.
In a recent interview with www.basketusa.com, San Antonio Spurs' guard, Tony Parker, was asked about his future with the Spurs and his thoughts on the trade rumors surrounding him:
Parker on his last contract season with the Spurs:
I prefer to wait [before renegotiating]. See what all the "fat" will do. I'm in no hurry. And I love San Antonio and I want to stay for my last year of his contract, play another year with Tim, Manu and then be a free agent and evaluate the situation.
Parker on whether he will leave the Spurs at the end of next season:
It will be 10 years at the end of next year I played in San Antonio. It would be a nice loop and maybe a good challenge for me to go elsewhere. If I leave, I can make another career, eight, nine years in another club.
Parker on the trade rumors and saying the Portland Trailblazers were interested in him:
It is normal that I am in the rumors. It is I who have the largest value in the team. I talked to Pop, 'he told me that I'm not going anywhere. New York and Portland were the two most serious runway is true, but San Antonio has said no.
Smart move by Pop and the team. Trading Parker would be a bad move. He is someone who is familiar with the team and the players. Plus he is still one of the top point-guards in the NBA and with the league "point-guard" driven, losing Parker would be a step back for the Spurs regardless of guard George Hill on the squad.
(above quotes translated using Google Translate)
In a recent interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Magic's free-agent, Matt Barnes, stated he was once sought after by the San Antonio Spurs prior to the 2009-2010 NBA season and, according to him, still feels he is on the Spurs' list as well as on other NBA team's list:
Before signing with the Magic last summer, Barnes said the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs were among the heavyweights who showed interest and he feels he's still on their lists.
Barnes, a small-forward, averaged 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 81 appearances for the Magic. He was also the Magic's go to defender often called upon to defend the opposing team's best perimeter player.
Barnes does say he would like to return to the Magic but don't be surprised this is more posturing in order to get the Magic to resign him come July 1.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, San Antonio Spurs' Assistant G.M. Dennis Lindsey is the frontrunner for the vacant G.M. position with the Phoenix Suns.
Spurs executive Dennis Lindsey is interviewing with owner Robert Sarver for Suns GM job on Monday, sources tell Y! He's frontrunner for job.
July 1, 2010 is right around the corner which means the NBA's free-agency period will begin. Marquee players such as LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, David Lee, and Amar'e Stoudamire, might be with new teams once the dust settles.
As for Stoudamire, could the San Antonio Spurs be in his future?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Spurs still remain a possible destination for Stoudamire:
Nevertheless, the Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs could be possibilities in sign-and-trade scenarios for Stoudemire.
I find this highly unlikely. With all signs pointing to Tiago Splitter coming to the team next season to address the lack of a center and the fact the Spurs are an inter-conference rival for the Suns, chances of this coming to fruition are slim.
Also, if it is a sign-and-trade, who will the Spurs give in exchange for Stoudamire not only to match his contract but the Suns would want quality players in return.
This isn't the first time Stoudamire has been mentioned in trade talks with the Spurs. During the 2010 NBA regular season, there was a report the Spurs and Suns were working on a trade to send Stoudamire to San Antonio.
In our draft review podcast, Jeff and I talk about Spurs' draft picks James Anderson and Ryan Richards. Though we both think Anderson will do a good job with the Spurs, we both felt Texas' Damion James was the better pick.
After talking about both players, we discussed the latest news including rumors that R.C.Buford was headed to the Portland Trailblazers to fill the job left vacant after Kevin Pritchard's firing, the possibility of Spurs' Assistant G.M. Dennis Lindsey to the Phoenix Suns, all the news surrounding Tiago Splitter, and Splitter in a Little Red Riding Hood outfit? All that and much more on this episode of the Spurscast.
The Spurscast. The first and orignial Spurs podcast!
With the news reported that Tiago Splitter may become a San Antonio Spur as early as July, fans may begin to wonder how the best European center will compete against his counterparts in the NBA.
Playing in the Western Conference, Splitter is likely to see frequent action against players such as Amar'e Stoudemire,
Playing against the elite of the NBA, how can Spurs fans expect Splitter to perform?
Splitter is a low-post player primarily. He has quick feet and good hands. Very similar to what we've come to expect from
Splitter is extremely aggressive putting the ball on the floor and creating, showing excellent coordination and fluidity, and emerging as a terrific finisher thanks to his great hands and touch. He’s not incredibly explosive around the basket, which may emerge as more of an issue in the NBA (if and when), but with his excellent skill-level and high basketball IQ, he’s about as effective a low-post scorer as you’ll find at the European level. On top of that, he manages to find plenty of scoring opportunities with his ability to run the floor, play pick and roll with the likes of
The jump hook is underutilized in the NBA and, as such, players rarely have to defend it. This will work to Splitter's advantage against many of the players that will be guarding him. Splitter is said to be 7'0" in shoes, giving him a size advantage over the likes of Stoudemire,
Splitter's jump shot is not a proven commodity, mostly because he rarely takes them. When you can average north of 15 points per game on 64% shooting from the low block, you probably don't need to step out and take many jump shots.
As good as the offensive upside is, defense may be his strength. Once again, Draft Express:
Defensively, Splitter is obviously a huge asset as we’ve discussed many times, as he has the size, strength and length to be very effective in the low post, but is coordinated and mobile enough to step out and hedge screens with great accuracy. The intensity he displays on this end of the floor tends to get him in foul trouble at times, but this is something that his coach will obviously live with. Splitter is seeing better productivity in the shot-blocking department than in years past, particularly in the Euroleague, where he currently ranks second in blocks per game.
The Spurs failed spectacularly to pressure Stoudemire in the
Time after time, Duncan failed to handle either Nash on the hedge by sagging too far off, leaving a passing lane the size of the 405 in Los Angeles or Stoudamire when the Spurs guards fought over the top of the screen, allowing Stoudemire to slip the screen for a wide open layup or dunk. I believe Splitter can be a solution to that problem with his size, quickness, and length.
The days of centers in the mold of
All the analysis in the world however cannot predict the way a young kid reacts to the bright lights of
The NBA is the golden egg all top players aspire to and Splitter will have to step up if he does accept the opportunity that the Spurs are about to offer him. If he is the star that I think he is, expect him to knock it out of the park and frustrate the perennial stars of the NBA.
Samardo Samuels, from Lousiville, was not selected in the 2010 NBA Draft but his agent, David Bauman, is trying to get him added to the San Antonio Spurs' summer league team.
The player's agent, David Bauman, is said to have contacted NBA teams Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers about Samuels playing for one of their summer league teams in Las Vegas.
Samuels did work out with the Spurs prior to the draft.