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Just like death and taxes, the "boring" label given to the Spurs seems to be certain. It's been talked about and written about numerous times and without sounding like a broken record, this topic reared its ugly head yet again.
Sure, the Spurs stress defense and grind out games but this has translated into four NBA titles. I am sure every NBA player and all 30 NBA GM's would take on the boring label if it meant they were able to rack up four championships since 1999. But when you take a closer look at the Spurs and their players, how can a team with a speed demon like Tony Parker and an exciting player like Manu Ginobili ever be considered anything less.
With that being said, I recently had a conversation with John Karalis of Reds Army about this label on the Spurs. The conversation came about because of a Spurs season preview article from Slam Online, which likely broke world records for the amount of times you can use the word boring in one article. Here is the conversation.
John: You know... the Spurs ARE kinda boring
Jeff: Four titles.
John: What's the connection to boring and titles? I didn't say they're not good. They're just boring.
Jeff: If boring gets four titles I am sure any team would want to be "boring." Though the Spurs aren't.
John: ... but I think he was kinda giving the Spurs a bit of a back-handed compliment. Yes, they're boring... but they're effective. Dude... I have nothing against the Spurs... but they do have a very slow and deliberate style of play.
Jeff: It gets wins. It gets titles.
John: No one says it doesn't.
Jeff: I am sure the Knicks and other loser teams would take "boring" anytime.
John: Probably. But it doesn't make the Spurs any LESS boring.
Jeff: Look at the Suns. Run and gun. Fail. Warriors. Run and gun. More fail. Mavs have no D and no titles.
John: I've said a million times... I've written it too... the run and gun style won't win. You get worked up over the boring tag. You're a great team. Great and boring.
Jeff: Ohhh but when the Pistons played D and got the title it was the best and wasn't boring.
John: Their run wasn't as long as yours.
Jeff: Ohhh but when Kobe does interviews and openly says they have to slow the game, play methodical and use defense that's so awesome in the eyes of NBA fans.
John: You need to chill... take a step back and see what's actually being said here. The Pistons had Ben Wallace.. who is very interesting... or at least he was. And the Piston's had a short run. The story lines ran out... so did their success... and our ADHD society can move on. The Spurs have been so good, for so long. And their leader is Tim Duncan... who is a reserved person. Their style is slow and deliberate... not flashy at all. After a while... people don't want to watch that anymore. It's not a commentary on how good they are. They're awesome.
Jeff: I guess Manu cracking slams on guys, Parker whizzing through teams for acrobatic shots or breaking the ankles of other players, and Mason hitting big time shots is boring
John: But it's not particularly entertaining to non-Spurs fans.
Well there you have it Spurs fans. Why the Spurs are boring from the eyes of a non-Spurs fan. Thanks to John for being a part of this. For all your Celtics news please visit RedsArmy.com.
Please leave us your comments on if the "boring" label is warranted or not. But for all of you who say the Spurs are boring, I will leave you with these "boring" video clips. Enjoy.
The Spurs roster currently lists 17 names, meaning at least two will be gone come the start of the season. They might even cut three people and start the season with 14 players. We'll take a look at the players on the edge and try to determine who will probably make the roster. The Spurs cut Dwayne Jones recently, leaving three players with non-guaranteed contracts.
Hairston appeared in 15 games with the Spurs last season and also played in 30 games with the Austin Toros, averaging 22.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 53.2% shooting and 44.1% shooting on threes. He has also done well during the Spurs four preseason games with averages of 7 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists with 52.6% shooting. However, if he is going to make the roster it will be because of his work on the defensive end. Of the three players competing for a spot, Hairston is the strongest defender, which works in his advantage. Reports from preseason are that he has been solid on that side of the court so far. He is a little undersized for a small forward at 6’5’’ but he has improved his three point shooting and could serve as a shooting guard if the Spurs need one.
The Spurs drafted Williams when he was a shooting guard/small forward combo. Since then he has transitioned more towards a point guard. The Spurs only have two real point guards on the roster, Tony Parker and George Hill, which means that they might be looking for a third as insurance. Williams is big for a point guard at 6’7’’ and can create mismatches at the position but that also means he is a defensive liability against quicker point guards. Through the preseason he is averaging 4.3 points, 1.5 assists, and 2 rebounds while shooting 40% shooting. Williams’ chances of making the team appear slim since he is not a great defender against point guards and his assist total has been low so far.
Jerrells, a Baylor grad, played point guard in college but has not helped his chances of makingthe team by shooting 28% and committing two turnovers in 16.3 minutes. He is also undersized at 6’1’’ and many wonder if he is more of a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body. I expect that the Spurs will keep him until the start of the season to give them more point guards on the roster during preseason, allowing Tony Parker to continue resting. Realistically, Jerrells could stick around playing for the Toros but he does not seem to factor into the Spurs plans.
We also must consider Pop’s quote from a recent article by Jeff McDonald in the San Antonio Express-News:
“The way we look at it, (not filling the final spots) is most likely,” Popovich said, “unless somebody shows you that you are crazy to cut them because they have played so damn well.
“There's got to be one or two guys show us we're crazy to cut them. If they play that well, we're going to have to keep one or two more bodies than we probably had planned on.”
This is a damning statement for Williams, who played very well with the Toros last season but nobody would say the Spurs would be crazy to cut him. Of the three only Hairston has made a big impression so far. He is not the quickest guard around but he has adequate foot speed, a strong upper body, and has shown a willingness to hustle.
There are advantages to cutting all three players. One, the Spurs are paying luxury tax so that each additional player costs double, and lets be honest, none of the three players will make or break the Spurs season. Second, leaving one roster spot open allows the Spurs flexibility if they need to sign a player in midseason or make a trade. Personally, I like having one open spot for these reasons. The 15th man is rarely used and most likely will not change the season one way or another.
If it’s not obvious by now, the only player I can see the Spurs keeping is Malik Hairston.
Please leave us your comments on who makes the Spurs squad and who doesn't.
I got a chance to go to last night's Spurs vs. Clippers preseason game. Even though the Spurs lost, it was good to get a second look at some of the Spurs' newer players.
Richard Jefferson showed everyone what kind of contribution he'll be able to make once the season comes around and Blake Griffin justified being drafted first.
I got to see a lot of Marcus Williams in the second half and while he had a better game, it's clear the he is too slow to defend point guards. Curtis Jerrells impressed me a bit, but at the same time he made a rookie mistake in not calling a timeout so Pop could draw up a game-tying or winning play late in the fourth quarter. Instead he forced up a layup that got blocked. I don't think I have to say much about DeJuan Blair. I doubt anything he does comes as a surprise anymore, but he held his own against Griffin and the other Clippers bigs.
While I was there for the game, I did get a chance to take a few photos and videos, but keep in mind I was taking most of these one-handed with nachos in my other hand. I decided to post them anyway so that out-of-town, out-of-state and even out-of-country Spurs fans can see what it's like to attend a Spurs home game.
If you can't view the slideshow, you can see all of the photos on flickr.
While our season preview is less than two weeks away, tonight NBATV will be presenting their season preview for the Spurs.
If you can't be in front of your tv, make sure to set your DVR for 10 p.m. CST tonight to see what NBA TV's crew, including former Spur Brent Barry, thinks of the Spurs offseason changes and their chances of winning 5th title.
You can see a snippet of tonight's preview below and check out the NBA.com Spurs preview here.
By Jordan Rivas, Staff Writer Project Spurs
Spurs fans have seen and heard them in the AT&T Center. Their exploits are legendary and opposing teams may not like them. Of course I am talking about the Baseline Bums. Recently Project Spurs own staff writer, Jordan Rivas, had the privilege to interview Cynthia Yruegas of the Baseline Bums.
In her interview we find out the Bums are not like the public's long believed reputation as a bunch of drunk, rowdy, Spurs fans and they do a lot for the community of San Antonio. So sit back and enjoy the interview.
Rivas: The Bums do a lot in the community, but is there a single community event/activity that you guys could single out as being a favorite?
Yruegas: Yes we are a community-oriented organization and while we do love all the activities and events we participate in, I would have to say that our annual coat and blanket drive is one of the Bum favorites. Every year we collect gently used or new coats, new blankets, diapers and baby formula and donate to different charities which have included Seton Home, Alpha House, Any Baby Can, Fisher House and St. Peter/St. Joseph's. I think the most rewarding part of this event is in the delivery of the items to the charities. The thanks and appreciation the recipients show for what is donated is remarkable and motivates us to continue with the effort. This years coat/blanket drive is scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 5th at the AT&T center. Anyone who is interested in donating or would like more information can contact us through our website at BaselineBums.org.
Rivas: What do you think opposing teams think of you? Do you guys care?
Yruegas: I don't think some opposing teams are too fond of us but we really don't care. I can say that Dallas Maverick's owner, Mark Cuban, brought a few bus loads of fans to one of the playoff games a few years ago and bought out the luxury boxes directly above the Bums. They did their best to drown out our cheering. He quickly found out that we get even louder when challenged. I am sure the Houston Rockets and their fans are well aware of us as well since we take a road trip to Houston every year for one of the annual Spurs/Rockets match-ups. We have been told by Spurs Sports and Entertainment that they do get inquiries from other NBA team front offices as to how the Baseline Bums organization keeps going year after year because they have made efforts to get similar groups going in their communities with no luck. We are truly a unique organization within the fans of the NBA..
Rivas: OK, so the name Baseline Bums... be honest, do you ever wish you guys had a more flattering designation?
Yruegas: I have to say absolutely NOT, we love being called the Baseline Bums even though we no longer sit along the Baseline as the original group did. We are very proud to be known as BUMS.
Rivas: We're not entirely sure who will field this question, but could you ask around and maybe pick one or two favorite Baseline Bums stories? You guys have a long history, I'm sure plenty of crazy/funny/or just interesting stories have taken place. If we could get even one we'd be really pleased.
Yruegas: Back in the early years the Bums were a rowdy group that would sit behind the opponents bench and heckle and harass the other teams; they could get away with much more than we can get away with today. Here are two stories; one from the early days and one from more recent times:
On March 24, 1976 the Spurs went into McNichols Arena and beat Denver 135-122, snapping the Nuggets' 26-game home winning streak. In fact, it was the second straight year that the Spurs had broken a 26-game home winning streak by Denver. Because the Spurs kept breaking Denver's home winning streaks, and because of several on-court fights between the teams during the 1974-75 season, a strong rivalry developed between the Nuggets and the Spurs. Nuggets' coach Larry Brown called the Spurs a "dirty team" and yelled at George Gervin during a 1976 Denver loss at HemisFair Arena. Bob Bass got up from the Spurs bench, told Brown to shut up, and offered to fight him. After the game, the Nuggets' boss said "I don't like anything about San Antonio, their coaching staff, their franchise or their city. The only thing I like about San Antonio is guacamole salad." Naturally, the Spurs' rowdy group of fans, the "Baseline Bums," caught wind of Brown's quote. The next time the Nuggets visited HemisFair Arena, the Baseline Bums were ready. Nuggets' forward Gus Gerard remembers that: "The next time we came down there the people were throwing avocados out on the floor and dumping guacamole salad on the players. When Larry (Brown) went to the locker room, they had something like dime beer night that night, so they were pouring beer over Larry's head. That was pretty wild."
One of our current Baseline Bums, Jerry Casarez, is our best known heckler. He was asked by the Express-News to record his heckle to be used as a ringtone. It is on mysa.com - Myxer - Ringtone - Baseline Bums Taunt. His laugh/heckle can be heard throughout the arena and even in the background during radio broadcasts sometimes. Jerry was invited by Brent Barry (former Spur) to participate in a skit done during one of the annual Spurs luncheon's hosted by Barry and Tony Parker. His laugh/heckle also attracted the attention of Argentine reporter, Julian Mozo, who did a documentary on Manu’s impact on the city of San Antonio. Jerry wound up driving the reporter and his camera guy around San Antonio. He took them to his house and they included his "mini Spurs museum" as part of their article stating he was Manu's biggest fan. This article was published on the Argentine website, Ole. This is why we are now known as the World Famous Baseline Bums.
Rivas: Also, if there's any general info you want us to include, let us know. We'll definitely link back to your website and if there's any event or activity coming up that you'd like us to plug we'd be happy to let our readers know about it.
Yruegas:We are very pleased to announce that we are being sponsored by RIO RIO CANTINA this season and are excited about our partnership with them. You will find many Bums down at their restaurant on the Riverwalk throughout the year for different occasions especially Spurs away game get togethers. Anyone who would like to join us is welcome. They can find more information on upcoming dates, times and events on our website.
Project Spurs would like to thank Ms. Yruegas for this exclusive interview. Again please visit BaselineBums.org. And if you are ever at a Spurs home game, you know where to find her. If you have a favorite Baseline Bums memory, be sure to add it in the comments.
The Spurs have cut center Dwayne Jones today leaving the roster standing at 17 players.
Jones didn't see much action in the preseason so far and averaged just 1.7 points in limited action. For the complete report click HERE.
Who will be next? My money is on either Jerrells or Williams.
Let me explain right off the bat. Rey Moralde of The No Look Pass distracted me in this episode. How? One name: Leeann Tweeden. Hence my huge screw up in this episode of The 8th Seed. But seriously, do you blame me?
Michael De Leon couldn't make this show but your's truly represented Project Spurs. Aside from my loss of focus, in this episode you get to hear Glenn Moore's (Dugout Sports Show) huge prediction on the Cav's regular season record, our thoughts on this years 2009 Hall Of Fame class, and Adam Best (Fan Sided) gets a lesson in time-zones. All this and much more on this episode of The 8th Seed.
This month's episode was hosted by John Karalis of Reds Army. Click HERE to listen.
Aside from myself and Michael, this is the rest of the 8th Seed crew!
Glenn Moore -- The Dugout Sports Show
Adam Best -- FanSided
Jared Wade -- Both Teams Played Hard and Eight Points, Nine Seconds
John Karalis -- Reds Army
Zach Harper -- Cowbell Kingdom and Talk Hoops
Rey Moralde -- The No Look Pass
Jeff Garcia wrote about his 1999-2009 Spurs All-Decade starters last week, but what good is an All-Decade team without a solid bench and coach? So today I give you the Spurs All-Decade bench and coach.
Point Guard: Speedy Claxton
The Spurs couldn't believe their luck when they were able to trade Mark Bryant, John Salmons and Randy Holcomb on draft night for Claxton. Although he only played one year for the Silver & Black, Claxton proved to be the best backup point guard the Spurs have had the last decade. Claxton averaged 5.8 points per game and 2.5 assists in just over 15 minutes per game, but in the playoffs and especially the 2003 Finals, he played a vital role. Claxton also partnered with Manu Ginobili to form likely the Spurs most potent backcourt combo off the bench. I'm sure I'll got a lot of email about not having Avery Johnson here, but Avery really only played two years during this decade, and his last year in 2000-01 was pretty forgettable. While you can argue that Johnson hit the shot that won the Spurs their first championship, it is very easy to forget how much Claxton contributed to the Spurs' second championship when Jason Kidd seemed to be destroying Tony Parker.
Shooting Guard: Stephen Jackson
For all the drama Jackson brings to any team, the guy scores points. Known as "Buckets" by his Spurs teammates, Jackson was a weapon from beyond the arch. He enjoyed his best season in San Antonio in 2002-03 averaging 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game.
Small Forward: Bruce Bowen
I'm not sure I really need to say anything about Bowen, but I will anyway. It is no coincidence that the Spurs won three titles during Bowen's tenure in San Antonio. From locking down the NBA's elite on a nightly basis to hitting big three's in the playoffs, Bowen never took a night off and never took any credit. I would list his stats, but I think that would be a disservice to Bowen and would not be an accurate representation of the impact and role he had on the Spurs teams he played with. It still baffles me he never won a Defensive Player of the Year during his career in the NBA.
Power Forward: Malik Rose
Bringing down 19 rebounds during a preseason game was almost reason enough to give DeJuan Blair this spot, but I couldn't overlook Malik Rose. Rose, like Blair, was a rebounding machine and rebounding has been a weakness since Rose was traded to New York. A fan favorite, Rose always provided much-needed energy off the bench and that's what his role would be for the All-Decade bench. Rose's best season as a Spur came in 2002-03 when he averaged 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Center: Rasho Nesterovic
It's never easy following someone like David Robinson, and perhaps Rasho was judged unfairly because he was the Spurs next starting center after Robinson. But when you look back, Rasho probably did better than any of our starting centers since his departure. His best season came in 2003-04, when he averaged 8.7 points, 7.7. rebounds and 2 blocks per game. His numbers decreased since then, but so did his minutes with the arrival of Nazr Mohammed.
Coach: Gregg Popovich
No surprise here. Considered one of the best NBA coaches ever, he has led the team to four NBA titles. He was the NBA Coach of the Year Award in 2003, and earned his 500th career victory on March 2, 2006becoming the fourth fastest coach in NBA history to reach that milestone. Popovich won his 100th playoff game on May 19, 2008, versus the New Orleans Hornets and is tied for third place in all-time coaching victories with Larry Brown. Just make sure when you do ask him questions, be prepared for not so great answers.
Did we overlook anyone? Please leave us your comments and let us know which players make up your Spurs All-Decade Bench. Feel free to leave a comment with your choices.
Jeff Garcia contributed to this article