In a very interesting move, the San Antonio Spurs have waived guard Joshua Primo, the team announced Friday.
Primo, who was on the Spurs’ injured list with a left glute soreness, was selected by the Spurs with the 12th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Alabama.
Recently, the Spurs picked up the third-year option on Primo for the 2023-24 season.
Last season, the 19-year-old appeared in 50 games for San Antonio, averaging 5.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19.3 minutes. Primo also spent time with the Austin Spurs and averaged 16.6 points, a team-high 5.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds in 19 games.
“It is our hope that, in the long run, this decision will serve the best interest of both the organization and Joshua,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford said in th press release announcing the move.
According to the team, the Spurs organization, including front office executives, coaching staff, and players, will have no additional comments to share at this time.
After the release, Primo sent a statement to ESPN on his release.
“I know that you all are surprised by today’s announcement. I’ve been seeking help to deal with previous trauma I suffered and will now take this time to focus on my mental health treatment more fully. I hope to be able to discuss these issues in the future so I can help others who have suffered in a similar way. I appreciate privacy at this time.”
Primo has a lot of ability, so whatever he did, the Spurs clearly were not comfortable going forward with him. Hopefully, he gets the help he needs to be better on and off the court.
A familiar face has returned to San Antonio as the Spurs added former 76ers head coach Brett Brown as an assistant coach, the team announced Thursday.
Brown joins Mitch Johnson and Matt Nielsen on head coach Gregg Popovich’s staff.
“I’m thrilled to be able to hire such a good coach, human being, and dinner partner,” said Popovich via a press release from the team.
Before leading the 76ers, the 61-year-old Brown served as an assistant coach on Popovich’s staff in San Antonio for 11 seasons from 2002-13. He was a member of the Spurs organization for their first four championship seasons (1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007).
Brown originally joined the Spurs as a member of their basketball operations department in 1998-99 but left after the season to become the Head Coach of the Sydney Kings of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). He rejoined the Spurs in July of 2002 as the team’s Assistant Coach/Director of Player Development and was moved to the bench as an assistant coach prior to the 2006-07 season. Brown was named 76ers head coach in 2013, and during his time in Philadelphia, the team posted three-straight 50-win seasons from 2017-20 and made three straight postseason appearances.
In addition to his time with the Spurs, Brown coached in Australia. He started as an assistant coach with the Melbourne Tigers before being named head coach of the North Melbourne Giants in 1993 and earned NBL Coach of the Year honors in 1994 after leading the Giants to the National Championship. Brown also served as head coach of the Australian National Team from 2009-2012, leading the Boomers during the 2012 Summer Olympics and again from 2019-20.
At times, many thought that the Team USA men’s basketball team would not win gold in Tokyo, especially after losing exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia in Las Vegas and losing to France in their Olympic opener.
However, due to the greatness of Kevin Durant, Team USA was able to capture its fourth consecutive gold medal by defeating France 87-82 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Saturday.
Durant, who scored 29 points in the gold medal game, was the leader for Team USA and has played a significant role in each of the last three golds. He’s scored 30 points in each of the previous two gold-medal games and now is tied with Carmelo Anthony for the most gold medals in Olympic men’s basketball history.
“I hate to compare stuff because you know everything is its own moment,” Durant said postgame. “But this is one of those special journeys that it’s just hard to describe because each and every one of us put in that work every single day, from the coaches to the trainers, to the players. We all came in with that goal of, ‘Let’s finish this thing off. Let’s build a family. Let’s build this team. Let’s grow this team every day.’ And when you are part of a team that’s evolving by the second, it’s just amazing to see.”
U.S. coach Gregg Popovich has five NBA titles, and now, he has a gold medal.
“Every championship is special, and the group you’re with is special,” he said. “But I can be honest and say this is the most responsibility I’ve ever felt because you’re playing for so many people that are watching and for your country and other countries involved. The responsibility was awesome, and I felt it every day for several years now. I’m feeling pretty light now and looking forward to getting back to the hotel and having something.”
Milwaukee Bucks teammates Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, who joined the Olympic team in the early morning hours before the U.S. played France in pool play, became the fourth and fifth players to win the NBA Finals and an Olympic gold in the same year.
According to Holiday, this was a great summer.
“Getting in at one in the morning, me, Book(Devin Booker) and Khris(Middleton), and then playing that night against France, losing that game and then being able to go through the rest of the tournament and then winning the gold medal game,” Holiday said. “I don’t know — I guess me thinking about it, and me telling that story, man, that’s a hell of a summer.”
Give this team a lot of credit. They battled hard to win a gold medal. In the end, the world has caught up. However, the United States is still the top dog in men’s basketball.
Photo: (Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)
Before these exhibition games, the USA Men’s National Team was 54-2 in exhibition contests since 1992.
However, 2021 is a different world for Team USA.
Two nights after losing to Nigeria, the U.S. lost to Australia 91-83 at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Monday night.
Coming into the contest, Australia was ranked third globally by FIBA, and if it was not clear before, it’s clear now that winning a gold medal in Tokyo won’t be easy.
Damian Lillard, who scored 22 points against Australia, sees first-hand how much the world has closed the gap.
“These (international) teams are experienced, and we are still working at becoming a team,” Lillard said. “We’re not just going to roll the ball out and beat these teams … these teams have a starting five of NBA players now.”
Again, the closing of the gap in competition was a point of emphasis for Popovich, who said that believing the U.S. has continually beaten every team by a large margin over the last decade is an error in thinking.
“We have had close games against four or five international teams, and the good teams don’t get blown out,” Popovich said.
Australia was led by Spurs guard Patty Mills, who finished with 22 points and Joe Ingles, a Utah Jazz forward, added 17 points.
According to Ingles, Australia expected to beat the U.S. on Monday night.
“We walked into this game expecting to win,” Ingles said. “No disrespect to them, they’re a hell of a team; obviously, the guys they’ve got on their roster and Pop standing up there is always nice to see, but we came in here expecting to win the game, and that’s what we did.”
Team USA gets back at it on Tuesday night against Argentina. Maybe this will be the night that Team USA puts it all together.
Photo: (Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)