Patty Mills: ‘He(DeRozan), obviously, loves the big moments’

Saturday night’s road victory for the Spurs(5-4) was all about DeMar DeRozan. The 12-year veteran scored 13 of his game and season-high 38 points in the 4th quarter and overtime, and ultimately, the Spurs would defeat Minnesota(2-7) 125-122 in overtime. The Spurs play Minnesota again on Sunday night

“DeMar won the game for us,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game. “He and Patty(Mills) playing out there with their pick-and-roll created a lot of opportunities. DeMar was the guy.”

Spurs’ Dejounte Murray, who scored 22 points against Minnesota, added this on DeRozan: “He’s a beast. That’s DeMar. Definitely, not the 82nd(ESPN’s list of best players in league) best player in the NBA. Damn sure, tell you that. That’s DeMar; we believe in him. We are really, really confident in him. We got the win; that’s all that matters.”

Late in games, DeRozan is one of the go-to guys for the Spurs, and according to him, it’s his job to make things happen for San Antonio down the stretch.

“It’s a mindset that I have, especially late in games when games are close,” he said. “I feel like It’s imperative; it’s my job to go out there and make something happen and pull out a win.”

Patty Mills, another 12-year veteran, who scored 21 points off the bench against Minnesota, added this about DeRozan: “He(DeRozan), obviously, loves the big moments, and loves to makes plays, loves to make big plays. He lives for those moments.’

San Antonio is 3-0 on their current five-game road trip, including wins over the Clippers and Lakers, and the veterans are leading the way. Patty Mills led the Spurs with 27 points in the team’s win over the Clippers, and LaMarcus Aldridge, a 15-year veteran, led the team with 28 points in San Antonio’s win over the Lakers, and of course, DeRozan’s big-time effort against Minnesota on Saturday night. 

According to Mills, the Spurs’ leaders are showing the young guys what it takes to close out games.

“Not being rattled in those big moments. I think that’s huge,” Mills said. “In terms of leadership and actions. The conversations that we’re having on the side, making sure the young boys understand what we’re doing while we are doing it. Helping them here and there have been good. The actions that we’re showing on the court, knowing who the leaders are and how to go about certain situations, and that helps young guys learn on the fly as well.”

Getting Aldridge back, who missed the team’s winless three-game homestand, helps. Now, after nine games, the Spurs are over .500 and playing some terrific basketball, and the veterans are leading the way.

Popovich on Trump: ‘He loved those people hitting the Capitol because that’s what he cares about'(VIDEO)

Popovich is not happy with Donald Trump

Before the Spurs’ huge road win against the Lakers on Thursday night, San Antonio’s head coach Gregg Popovich gave his thoughts on the riots at the Capitol building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. Sadly, five people died, and several were injured.  

It was a sad scene for sure and a scene that should have never happened, and according to Popovich, Trump enjoyed it.

“He loved those people hitting the Capitol because that’s what he cares about. He’s incapable of caring, and it’s sad because he’s a deranged, really flawed individual, but he’s also dangerous,” Popovich said. “That’s why I don’t think it’s so far-fetched for people to start talking about the 25th Amendment.”

The 25th Amendment allows the president to be removed if he/she “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” 

Listen to Pop’s rant about Trump below:

 

Spurs’ White suffers foot injury

The San Antonio Spurs were dealt a significant blow on Tuesday. Derrick White, who made his season debut on New Year’s Day against the Lakers, suffered a non-displaced fracture of the proximal phalanx of his left second toe. No word on how long White will be out. 

According to the team, the injury occurred after White fell in the second quarter against the Lakers.

Before his debut, the fourth-year guard was recovering from toe surgery on his left foot in the offseason. White also signed a reported four-year, $ 73 million extension with the Spurs in December. 

The 26-year-old White posted averages of 11.3 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in 24.7 minutes last season while ranking second among all NBA guards in total blocks (59) and second in the league in charges drawn (30). White has appeared in 152 NBA games for his NBA career, averaging 9.8 points, 3.4 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in 23.3 minutes while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from long range.

Spurs’ Johnson: ‘Whoever is put in front of me, I go at them and give them everything I got’

Two straight games against the world-champion Lakers and two consecutive losses for the Spurs, but the game on Friday night was much closer. Behind Anthony Davis’ season-high 34 points and 11 rebounds and LeBron James, who recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, the Lakers defeated San Antonio 109-103 at AT&T Center. After starting 2-0, the Spurs have now lost three straight.

The Lakers(4-2) defeated the Spurs(2-3) in San Antonio on Wednesday night 121-107. Coming into Friday’s action, San Antonio was again without LaMarcus Aldridge for the second game in a row due to a knee injury. 

In Friday’s game, the Spurs entered the fourth quarter up by four against the Lakers, but they were outscored by 10 in the final period, and the Lakers finished the game with a 9-0 run. There are no moral victories at this level, but according to Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, although the team lost, these types of games are good for the young Spurs.

“First seven out of ten games to start out are against playoffs teams,” Popovich said after the game. “We’re going to be on the road here for about nine or ten days. so It’s a tough start for those young guys; they’ll benefit from it in the long run.”

The young guys stepped up in a losing effort for San Antonio against the Lakers, including Keldon Johnson, who had a career-high 26 points against Los Angeles. 

“Whoever is put in front of me, I go at them and give them everything I got,” Johnson said. “That’s why I work hard in the offseason on my game. I put it into use when I go play. I just go out there and compete.”

DeMar DeRozan, who chipped in with 23 points against the Lakers, thinks the Spurs can build off what they did against Los Angeles on Friday night.

“We made a lot of things tough on the Lakers tonight,” DeRozan said. “Overall, just continue to build from that. We played the champs at a high level.”

Friday’s game also saw the return of Derrick White. The fourth-year guard made his season debut after recovering from toe surgery on his left foot in the offseason. He also signed a reported four-year, $ 73 million extension with the Spurs in December. White, who is on a minutes restriction, scored nine points in 23 minutes on Friday night.

The Lakers are world-champions for a reason, and beating them was not going to be easy, especially without Aldridge. San Antonio hosts another playoff team in the Utah Jazz on Sunday, and after Utah, they begin a five-game road trip, so it’s important they get that game against Utah before they head out on the road.

Hammon on coaching Spurs: ‘It’s a big deal; it’s a substantial moment’

We have seen so many things go wrong in 2020, whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic or the untimely deaths of so many people in the world of sports and entertainment, 2020 will be a year that many will talk about for a long time.

On Wednesday in San Antonio, we finally got some good news and another event we will be talking about for a long time. Former WNBA star and current Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon made history. After Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter in the team’s 121-107 loss to the Lakers, Hammon became the first woman in NBA history to serve as a head coach.

The 43-year old Hammon has been an assistant coach with the Spurs for six seasons, and she coached San Antonio’s summer league team in 2015. When the Spurs hired Hammon in 2014, she became the second female coach in league history. 

After the game, Hammon discussed what it meant to be the first female to lead an NBA team.

“Obviously, it’s a big deal; it’s a substantial moment,” Hammon said. “I got traded here in 2007, so I’ve been in San Antonio apart of the Spurs and sports organization, with the (Silver) Stars and everything for 13 years, so I have a lot of time invested, and they have a lot of time invested in me, and building me and getting me better. Honestly, in the moment, I was just trying to win the game. 

“I say this a lot, but I try not to think about the huge picture and the huge aspect of it because it can get overwhelming. It’s my job to go in there and be focused for those guys and make sure that I’m helping them do the things that will help us win. I really have not had time to reflect. I haven’t looked at my phone, so I have no idea what’s going on outside of AT&T Center tonight.”

Many believe that Hammon will be a head coach in the NBA in the near future, and when she does, she and others will always remember December 30, 2020.

Watch below as Hammon talks being the head coach for the Spurs on Wednesday night:

Spurs exercise team options on Walker, Johnson, Samanic

The San Antonio Spurs have exercised their fourth-year team option on guard Lonnie Walker IV and their third-year option on forwards Keldon Johnson and Luka Samanic for the 2021-22 season, the team announced on Monday.

Walker IV, 22, is entering his third year with the Spurs after appearing in 61 games last season and averaging 6.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 16.2 minutes. Walker has athleticism, good off the dribble, and has a decent shot. The Spurs are expecting Walker to take that next step this season, and he has the ability to do it. 

Johnson, 21, begins his second season after appearing in 17 games for San Antonio last year and averaging 9.1 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17.7 minutes. The Kentucky alum played well in the bubble. In eight games in Orlando, Johnson averaged 14.1 points after recording multiple 20-point outings.

Samanic, 20, enters his second season with San Antonio following his rookie year when he averaged 5.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 16.0 minutes over three contests, including the final game of the season when he posted 16 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists in his first career start. 

Over the years, San Antonio has done an excellent job of drafting and developing young players, and these young guys have talent. If they can continue to grow as players, the future could be bright for the Spurs.

DeRozan exercises player option to return to Spurs

DeMar DeRozan has exercised his player option for the upcoming season, the Spurs announced today. According to spotrac.com, DeRozan will make $27.7 million in 2020-21.

DeRozan, who came to San Antonio in 2018 in the Kawhi Leonard trade, has averaged 21.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.8 rebounds in two seasons with the Spurs. Last season, DeRozan and league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo were the only two players in the NBA to average 20-plus points, 5-plus rebounds, and 5-plus assists while shooting over 50.0 percent from the field. 

A two-time All-NBA selection, the 31-year-old DeRozan is one of just five players to score 1,500-plus points in each of the last five seasons, joining LeBron James, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Russell Westbrook.

An 11-year veteran, DeRozan was originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the ninth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. 

Spurs sign Tyler Zeller

San Antonio Spurs sign center Tyler Zeller, the team announced today. 

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Zeller’s deal is for the remainder of the season and includes a non-guaranteed second year in 2020-21. 

With LaMarcus Aldridge out for the season, San Antonio needs frontcourt depth, and Zeller does that for them.

Zeller, 7-0/255, holds career averages of 7.0 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.6 minutes while shooting .509 from the field in 412 total games. The former UNC Tarheel was selected by Dallas with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft before being dealt in a Draft night trade to Cleveland (2012-14), where he spent his first two seasons.

A seven-year NBA veteran, Zeller, has also spent time with Boston (2014-17), Milwaukee (2017-18), Brooklyn (2017-18), Atlanta (2018-19), and Memphis (2018-19). In 2014-15, his first year with the Celtics, he averaged career-bests in scoring (10.2 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 RPG) while playing in all 82 games.

 

Spurs’ Buford: ‘The loss of Kobe and Gianna leaves a giant hole in our hearts’

Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford today released the following statement on behalf of the Spurs organization on the death of Kobe Bryant:

“Kobe inspired all of us. In San Antonio, we were blessed to have enjoyed a front row seat to his greatness. He had an unmatched combination of determination, skill, competitiveness, personality, grace, passion and intelligence. The loss of Kobe and Gianna leaves a giant hole in our hearts. It’s impossible to express the pain we feel for Vanessa and the Bryant family.”

Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter accident on Sunday in Calabasas, California.

Murray, Spurs agree to contract extension

The San Antonio Spurs and Dejounte Murray have agreed on a contract extension, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s four-year, $64 million contract.

Murray became the youngest player in NBA history to make an All-Defensive Team in his last season, being named to the 2018 All-Defensive Second Team. That year he was the only player in the NBA under 6-6 to record at least 400 rebounds, 90 steals and 30 blocks. Murray also set a Spurs record for most total rebounds in a single season by a point guard with 459 rebounds, passing the franchise’s previous high of 378 by Johnny Moore in 1984-85.

 Starting 48 of his 81 appearances in 2017-18, Murray averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.20 steals in 21.5 minutes for the Silver and Black. He is one of four players in Spurs history to record a double-double in the Playoffs as a rookie and has appeared in a total of 119 career games for San Antonio.

Murray is set to play his third season with the Spurs after missing all of last year due to injury. The University of Washington product was originally selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (29th overall).