Popovich: ‘It’s a sad day for all of us who knew Jerry Sloan’

Former longtime Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan died on Friday. He was 78.

Sloan had been battling Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, and he died from complications of the conditions. Before his coaching career, Sloan played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Bullets and Bulls, and he would retire from the NBA in 1976.

After retiring from the NBA, Sloan would coach the Bulls from 1979-1982, and in 1988, Sloan would coach the Utah Jazz, where he had a lot of success, including two NBA Finals appearances.  Both times in the Finals, the Jazz would lose to Jordan and the Bulls.

He would be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. Sloan resigned from the Jazz and ended his coaching career in 2011. After 26 years of coaching(23 with the Jazz), he finished with 1221 wins. 

A man who looked up to Sloan was Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, and on Friday, Popovich issued the following statement regarding the passing of Jerry Sloan:

 “It’s a sad day for all of us who knew Jerry Sloan. Not only on the basketball court but, more importantly, as a human being. He was genuine and true. And that is rare.

 “He was a mentor for me from afar until I got to know him. A man who suffered no fools, he possessed a humor, often disguised, and had a heart as big as the prairie.”  

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Spurs waive DeMarre Carroll; Rockets expected to sign him

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that the team has waived forward DeMarre Carroll, and according to ESPN and Carroll’s agent Mark Bartelstein, Carroll agreed to a contract buyout.

The Spurs were paying Carroll, who signed a three-year, $20.6 million deal with the team this summer, $7 million this season, and he’s set to receive a guaranteed $6.65 million in 2020-21. Only $1.35 million of the $7 million the pact calls for him to collect in 2021-22 is guaranteed, according to the San Antonio Express-News          

Houston is a frontrunner to sign Carroll once he clears waivers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Carroll, 33, saw action in just 15 games for San Antonio averaging 2.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9.0 minutes.

According to reports, the Spurs were actively trying to trade Carroll before the trade deadline, but they were not able to find any suitors. 

 

Zion’s expected debut has been moved to ESPN

Earlier this week, Pelicans GM David Griffin announced that the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, Zion Williamson, will make his debut on January 22 against the Spurs.

On Friday, it was announced that the Spurs-Pelicans’ game at the Smoothie King Center would be televised nationally by ESPN.

The 19-year-old Williamson played very well in the preseason but has been sidelined with a torn right lateral meniscus.

Williamson, during his one year at Duke, was the 2019 Naismith Award and John R. Wooden Award. Williamson is just the third freshman to win AP Player of the Year honors, joining Kevin Durant (Texas – 2007) and Anthony Davis (Kentucky – 2012).

 Additionally, the Spartanburg, South Carolina native was the recipient of the 2019 Karl Malone Award as the nation’s top power forward, was named the National Freshman of the Year by the NABC and USBWA, the ACC Player of the Year and a consensus First Team All-American. 

Williamson appeared in 33 games for the Blue Devils, averaging 22.6 points (16th in the nation; 2nd in ACC) on .680 shooting from the floor (ranked 2nd in the country), 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 blocks. 

Williamson helped Duke capture the 2019 ACC Championship, earning ACC Tournament MVP honors, and an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, averaging 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in postseason play.

Spurs’ DeRozan named Western Conference Player of the Week

The NBA today announced that San Antonio Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 6, through Sunday, January 12. Philadelphia’s Josh Richardson was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

This marks the first time DeRozan has been named Player of the Week since joining the Silver and Black in 2018. With his 11th career Player of the Week honor, DeRozan becomes just the fourth player to wear a Spurs uniform to be named Player of the Week at least 10 times, joining Tim Duncan (23), David Robinson (14) and LaMarcus Aldridge (10).

DeRozan averaged 29.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 34.8 minutes for the week, while shooting .629 (39-62) from the field and .902 (37-41) from the foul line. He was the only player in the NBA to average 25-plus points, 6-plus rebounds and 6-plus assists while shooting better than 60 percent for the week.

DeRozan led the team in scoring in all four games and helped the Spurs go 3-1 for the week with victories against three of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. DeRozan started off the week by scoring 25 points (11-15 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT) to go along with 7 assists and 3 rebounds in 33 minutes in a 126-104 win against Milwaukee on January 6. Two nights later he finished with 31 points (10-17 FG, 11-11 FT), 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 34 minutes in a 129-114 victory at Boston on January 8. On Friday, DeRozan tied his season-high with 36 points (11-18 FG, 1-1 3FG, 13-14 FT), 9 assists and 7 rebounds in 38 minutes in a 121-134 loss at Memphis. To finish out the week, DeRozan scored 22 of his 25 points (7-12 FG, 11-14 FT) in the second half to help the Spurs overcome an 18 point second half deficit for a 105-104 victory at Toronto.

Over his last 11 games DeRozan has scored 20-or-more points, handed three-or-more assists and shot better than 52.0 percent in each game. He joins Michael Jordan (12) and LeBron James (11) as the only players to accomplish this feat in the last 35 years. DeRozan is one of just two players in the NBA this season averaging at least 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting better than 50.0 percent from the field in 2019-20, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo.

DeRozan is averaging a team-best 22.4 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.00 steals in 34.0 minutes while shooting a career-best .535 (323-606) from the floor and .827 (196-237) from the free throw line.

Spurs to retire Tony Parker’s No. 9

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they will retire Tony Parker’s No. 9 jersey on Monday, Nov. 11 when the Silver and Black host the Memphis Grizzlies.

Parker will become the 10th player in Spurs franchise history to have his number raised to the rafters, joining Bruce Bowen (12), Tim Duncan (21), Sean Elliott (32), George Gervin (44), Manu Ginobili (20), Avery Johnson (6), Johnny Moore (00), David Robinson (50) and James Silas (13).

In 17 seasons in San Antonio, Parker helped the Silver and Black capture four NBA championships and was named the 2007 NBA Finals MVP, becoming the first European Finals MVP in history.

The point guard from France was a four-time All-NBA performer (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) and a six-time NBA All-Star (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014) with the Spurs. Originally selected by San Antonio with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, Parker is the Spurs NBA leader in assists (6,829), while ranking second in games played (1,198), fourth in points (18,943) and steals (1,032), fifth in free throws made (3,309) and sixth in rebounds (3,313).

Parker is one of five players in NBA history to post at least 19,000 points and 7,000 assists, along with Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, Gary Payton and LeBron James. He played in a total of 1,254 career games in 18 seasons with the Spurs and Charlotte Hornets, averaging 15.5 points, 5.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 30.5 minutes. Parker finished his career seventh in NBA history with 892 wins.

Appearing in a total of 226 postseason contests with the Spurs, sixth most all-time, Parker averaged 17.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 34.3 minutes. In NBA Playoffs history, Parker ranks fifth all-time in assists (1,143) and ninth in points (4,045). Parker and fellow Spurs jersey retirees Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili recorded 126 postseason victories together, which are the most wins by any trio in NBA history.

Parker is one of four players in league history to record 4,000 points and 1,000 assists in the NBA Playoffs, along with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Tim Duncan named Spurs Assistant coach

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Will Hardy and Tim Duncan will be added to Gregg Popovich’s bench as assistant coaches.

Hardy first joined the Spurs as a basketball operations intern in 2010 after graduating from Williams College.

“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. 

Duncan, a 1997 Wake Forest graduate, played 19 seasons with the Spurs before retiring in the summer of 2016.

“It is only fitting, that after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor,” said Popovich.

Spurs sign Trey Lyles

The San Antonio Spurs have signed F Trey Lyles, the team announced today.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a two-year deal.

Originally, Marcus Morris and the Spurs reportedly had agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Spurs, but Morris had a change of heart, and the Spurs signed Lyles. According to ESPN, Morris is expected to sign with the New York Knicks.

Lyles, 6-10/235, appeared in 64 games for the Denver Nuggets last season averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 17.5 minutes. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 18.3 minutes. Appearing in 288 total contests, Lyles holds career averages of 7.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.5 minutes.

The former University of Kentucky Wildcat was a first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft (12th overall) by the Utah Jazz. Lyles spent his first two seasons with the Jazz before being sent to Denver on draft night in 2017. While with Utah, Lyles was selected to the 2016 and 2017 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.

Lonnie Walker drops 32 points in Spurs Summer League victory

Lonnie Walker IV scored a game-high 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs led wire-to-wire for their second straight win in the Las Vegas Summer League by a final score of 93-90 over the Toronto Raptors.

Walker IV got going early with 13 points in the first quarter and had 23 points at halftime to help the Spurs take a 58-39 lead at the break. San Antonio built its largest lead of the game by going up 26 in the third quarter, going into the fourth quarter with an 83-59 advantage. Toronto came all the way back in the fourth quarter by winning the final frame 31-10, but back-to-back stops in the final possession helped the Spurs hold off the Raptors 93-90.

Adding 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks to his 32 points, Walker IV registered the highest scoring Summer League game of his career, becoming the first Spurs player to reach 30-plus points since San Antonio guard Bryn Forbes in 2017. Silver and Black forward Drew Eubanks added 19 points (7-10 FG) and 7 rebounds, while Thomas Robinson came off the bench to tally 14 points (6-7 FG) and 7 rebounds. The Raptors were led by 27 points and 7 assists from Jordan Loyd, as well as 24 points and 12 rebounds from 2019 G League MVP Chris Boucher.

Spurs sign Quinndary Weatherspoon to two-way contract

The San Antonio Spurs have signed guard Quinndary Weatherspoon to a two-way contract, the team announced today.

Weatherspoon, 6-4/205, was selected in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft (49th overall). He is currently participating on the Spurs Summer League team where he’s averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 23.7 minutes in three games between the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas Summer Leagues.

Born and raised in Canton, Miss., Weatherspoon spent four seasons at Mississippi State and is one of just three players in school history to accumulate over 2,000 career points. He earned All-SEC honors in his final three seasons, including a spot on the All-SEC First Team in his senior year when he posted a career-best 18.5 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.68 steals.

Spurs re-sign Rudy Gay

The San Antonio Spurs and Rudy Gay agree to a new contract, the team announced today.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, it’s a two-year, $32 million deal.

Gay is one of two players in the NBA with at least 15,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,000 steals and 500 blocks since he was drafted in 2006, along with LeBron James.

The 13-year veteran appeared in 69 games for the Spurs last season and averaged 13.7 points to go along with a career-high 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 26.7 minutes while shooting a career-high .504 (376-746) from the floor and a career-best .402 (74-184) from three-point range.

Gay signs with the Spurs for the third time after originally joining San Antonio on July 6, 2017 and re-signing on July 11, 2018. In 126 total games over two seasons with the Silver and Black, Gay has averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 24.4 minutes while shooting .490 from the floor and .368 from beyond the arc. He holds career averages of 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.26 steals in 34.0 minutes while shooting .456 from the field and .348 from three-point range in 879 total contests.

The former University of Connecticut forward was originally drafted by Houston in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft (8th overall) before being dealt to Memphis on July 12, 2006. After spending his first six-plus seasons with the Grizzlies, Gay was traded to Toronto on Jan. 30, 2013. Playing parts of two seasons with the Raptors, he was moved on Dec. 9, 2013 to Sacramento. Including the 2014-15 campaign when he averaged a career-high 21.1 points, Gay spent three-plus years with the Kings before joining the Spurs.

Gay has suited up for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team at the last two FIBA World Championships, helping the United States win gold at both the 2010 World Cup in Turkey and the 2014 World Cup in Spain