Tag:Gregg Popovich
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:42 pm

Manu Ginobili suffers chest injury against L.A.

By Matt Moore 

Spurs guard/forward Manu Ginobili who only returned from injury this week was re-injured against the Clippers in the Spurs' 103-100 win over Los Angeles Saturday. Ginobili sustained a strained left oblique in the the first half and did not return. The Spurs have stated no timetable on him at this time. Most alarming for Spurs fans, ESPN quoted Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after the game as saying the thought the Spurs had "lost (Ginobili) again." 

The Spurs have won ten straight and weathered the storm without Ginobili exceptionally well during his absence, but not having Manu fully healthy during last year's playoffs significantly hurt their performance against the Grizzlies in the first round. We'll update you with more information when it comes available.
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:41 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 6:42 pm
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Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:20 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:21 pm

Popovich: Ginobili will return Saturday vs. Nets

Manu Ginobili is expected to return Saturday. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili is expected back on the court for the first time in more than a month this weekend.

MySanAntonio.com reports
that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that Ginobili will play against the New Jersey Nets on Saturday after going through a full-contact practice on Friday.

Ginobili, who has been sidelined since Jan. 2 after breaking a bone in his left hand, will not start and his minutes are reportedly expected to be limited. It was reported earlier this week that a return to the court was imminent.

The original timetable for Ginobili's return was 6-8 weeks. A Saturday return would mean that Ginobili missed just under six weeks after the injury.

The Nets contest is the third game of a 9-game road trip. The Spurs are 18-9 on the season, good for first place in the Southwest Division. San Antonio went 15-7 since Ginobili went down, making due thanks to talented rookie Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal and Danny Green

Ginobili, 34, averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his five appearances before suffering the injury. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:37 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:02 pm

Popovich: Manu Ginobili to return next week

Manu Ginobili is expected to return next week. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

Things are looking up for San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Manu Ginobili.

MySanAntonio.com reports that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters on Monday that Ginobili, who has been sidelined since Jan. 2 after breaking a bone in his left hand, is nearing a return.
“The doctors say he’s healed and healthy,” Popovich said before the Spurs’ 89-84 win over the Grizzlies. “It’s just a matter of conditioning and timing, rhythm and confidence, all those things right now.

“I’d expect him in the next week or so.”

When Ginobili does return, Popovich said he’s leaning toward bringing the former Sixth Man of the Year off the bench in order to ease him into game action.

The original timetable for Ginobili's return was 6-8 weeks. If he indeed returns next week, that would put him at the lower end of the original estimate.

In typical Spurs fashion, the team weathered what looked like a disaster on paper and kept right on winning in Ginobili's absence. Entering Tuesday's action, San Antonio sat atop the Southwest Division with a record of 17-9. The Spurs are 14-7 since Ginobili went down, making due thanks to talented rookie Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal and Danny Green

Ginobili, 34, averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his five appearances before suffering the injury. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:08 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:09 pm

Jason Terry and the Mavericks' survival plan

Jason Terry helped the Mavericks survive against a Spurs bench run Sunday night. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks, as much as any team in the league, know that this is not anything like a normal season. There are games packed on top of games packed on top of games. Dirk Nowitzki is still trying to get into his normal game condition, evidenced by his struggles in his first game back. The Kardashians are prowling the arena along with the realities of their television show, and have we mentioned the schedule is insane?

Those are just some of the reasons that led Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle to call this year, "wacky" after the Mavericks' 101-100 win over the San Antonio in Dallas Sunday night.

"It's a wacky year," Carlisle said, "and there's a lot of things going on with crazy scores and leads and deficits disappearing, so you've got to be ready for anything. We're fortunate, but it's a good win. "

Wacky. Much like this up and down win that did not come easy. The Mavericks held a strong lead in the third quarter, lead by Vince Carter who finished with 21 points on 8-15 shooting. But then, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who Mavericks guard Jason Terry later called "a mastermind" and who Carlisle called "the greatest coach really ever in this game," pulled his starters. Completely. With 2:12 to go in the third quarter. From there on out it was entirely bench players, and instead of a weak surrender, the trio of Danny Green, Gary Neal, and James Anderson poured in a flurry of lay-ups and three-pointers. The bench squad scored on 8 of 9 fourth quarter possessions to take the lead. Another blown lead in a wacky year.

"We gotta keep working," Carlisle noted after the game. "I love the fact that we came back from nine down in the fourth. It's a tough position to be in, but the guys fought and got it tied and in overtime we were able to get out of here."

"Getting out of here," that's probably the theme of the NBA season for almost all the teams caught in this hellacious compacted schedule. It's some sort of weird, mutant version of the age old cliche of "survive and advance." In this year with so many outliers, teams need depth, and they need pacing, and they need some luck. The Mavericks have had little of that this year, but having the kind of veterans they do gives them the experience to get through crazy games like Sunday's.

Compared to their struggles to start the year, the Mavericks recovered, played like World Champions, and finished off the non-stars in overtime. It takes experience, it takes veterans, it takes a mindset to "survive." Oh, and Jason Terry, that helps too.

"I was locked in," Terry said after he finished with a game-high 34 points on 14-23 shooting and 4 assists in 37 minutes.

His is always the second name on the Mavericks behind the Big German, but lost in the Lamar Odom trade and the free agency departures and the injuries is the fact that Jason Terry still wears Mavericks blue. And he's a survivor. Terry has made huge shot after huge shot for the Mavericks throughout the years and on Sunday showed why the Mavericks will keep learning, keep adjusting, and keep improving as veterans do even in a wacky year, and will be there at the end, when the playoffs begin.

"I watched the film [from the first meeting between the two teams] and there were some shots that I know I would make if I got them again," Terry said. "I said if I continue to get those same looks and opportunities that I'm going to be aggressive and take them."

It was Terry taking and hitting big shots along with the kind of consistent team effort on defense and the glass that got the Mavericks back in control. It was also players like Carter, who have been around long enough to make the plays when they need to, especially against an inexperienced crew like the upstart bench mob from San Antonio. Carter later said this season comes down to simple survival.

"That's what it's going to be about it. It's going to be about survival. Every guy on the team has to be ready to play, because you just never know."

What the Mavericks do know is that they have guys who have been there, done that. Other teams may have more youth, more depth, fresher legs and more wind. But does having the veterans in a season like this, even with the wear and tear on older bodies, help the Mavs in their mindset?

"I think so," Carter said. "And just making sure your young guys are prepared."

Carter complimented Roddy Beaubois, starting at point guard yet again for the injured Jason Kidd. "My hat's off to Roddy. It gets to where he's not playing big minutes, and he plays spot minutes and then he gets the start. To play like that, it gets a salute from me."

Veterans putting the young guys in a position to make plays, and Jason Terry hitting big shots when the Mavericks need them. If the Mavericks are going to survive this year, that's the approach they want to have. It's not about the division lead the Mavericks took Sunday night with the win. It's not about getting Nowitzki back into the rotation or worrying about blowing a lead to a group of bench players. 

This season is not about being perfect. It's about survival. And the Mavericks are as well prepared to survive as any team in the league.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 6:42 pm

Report: Spurs GM R.C. Buford arrested for DWI

Posted by Ben Golliverr-c-buford

The San Antonio Spurs and their management staff are generally held up as the "model" NBA franchise.

That model took a major public hit on Friday night, when KSAT.com reported that Spurs GM R.C. Buford was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after he allegedly drove through a fence.
Spurs general manager R.C. Buford was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after he crashed into a fence, San Antonio Police said. A police spokesman confirmed Buford was arrested after crashing into the fence in the 500 block of N. Leona just west of downtown late Friday night.

The police department said an officer from the Bexar County Hospital District first responded to the scene. SAPD then arrested Buford.

Records at the magistrate's office show Buford was charged with driving while intoxicated with an open container.

KENS5.com reportsthat Buford was booked after 3 a.m.
Court documents say Buford was booked into Bexar County Jail at 3:38 a.m. Saturday. He was released on a $2,500 bond.
Buford has served as GM of the Spurs since 2002, overseeing NBA championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Prior to serving as GM, a position he inherited from coach Gregg Popovich, Buford rose through the ranks in the scouting department and also worked as team president. 

WOAI.com reports that the Spurs released the following statement regarding the incident on Saturday.
RC Buford, president of sports franchises for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, was involved in a single car accident on Friday evening in San Antonio. The event involving Buford, who is a type 1 diabetic, was precipitated by a severe low blood sugar reaction. A San Antonio police officer responded to the scene and Buford was subsequently detained and charged with possession of an open container and a DUI. No injuries were caused by the accident.

“I take great pride in being a positive member of our community and deeply regret this incident,”  said Buford. “I apologize to our community, our fans and the entire Spurs family.”

The Spurs and Buford indicated they will have no further comments on the incident. 

In a 2005 Sports Illustrated profile, Buford expressed his fondness for adult beverages.
Ask them about their working relationship or who is responsible for what, and they both go coy. "Philosophical differences?" says Buford. "Well, Pop likes wine, and I drink beer. That's about it." Says Popovich, "R.C. tells me when I'm full of crap."
A WIBW.com story from 2008 features Buford re-telling a favorite story, when he and University of Kansas coach Bill Self brought a keg to the 1985 World Series.
Self and Buford pulled up to Royals Stadium, beer in tow, and, amazingly, were able to buy face-value tickets along the third-base line to watch the Royals beat the Cardinals.

That, and they became the most popular guys in town when beer stopped flowing. Who else had cold Budweiser on tap after the seventh game of the World Series –- in their car?

"We were the only guys in Kansas City with beer," Buford said.

Buford is the third member of his family to be arrested for mixing drinking and driving in the last 30 months.

Back in February 2011, Alexis Mang-Ikri Wangmene, a University of Texas basketball player from Cameroon, was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Austin. Buford was serving as Wangmene's legal guardian, according to MyFoxAustin.com. Back in July 2009, Chase Buford, R.C.'s son, was arrested on DUI charges in Lawrence, Kansas, where he was a member of the University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, according to KMBC.com.
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 12:39 pm

Duncan will not exercise option, no extension

Posted by Matt Moore

Tim Duncan has a player's option to become a free agent. Duncan endured a pretty disappointing season when the Spurs obtained the top seed but were bounced in the first round. Add an aging roster that Tony Parker publicly said (then recanted) is finished contending, and most All-Stars would test free agency, if for no other reason than to secure the best long-term deal to finish their careers.  

But Duncan is not such an All-Star. Instead, he will not opt-out and will finish the final year of his contract.

From the San Antonio Express-News
Tim Duncan is not expected to opt out of the final year of his contract, and the Spurs don’t plan to offer him an extension before the collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday, according to a source familiar with talks between the team and the franchise icon. As such, Duncan will play out the final year of his existing deal, during which he is scheduled to earn $21.2 million, and remains on track to become a free agent after the 2011-12 campaign.
via Spurs Nation » Source: Duncan will not opt out.

It's a good fit on both sides. Duncan gets to make the max money, unlimited by a possible change to his first-year contract under the new CBA. The team doesn't have to worry about fitting Duncan in under a harder cap.

Now, Duncan will become a free agent in 2012, which means even if there's a delay in the new CBA taking hold, his next contract will either have to be shorter or facilitate what will likely be a smaller, harder cap. But at that point, he'll be just about ready to retire, so a shorter-term contract won't be much of a problem.

The Spurs' decision not to offer isn't surprising; it's likely part of the overall plan. The team isn't worried about Duncan finishing elsewhere. If he does, it'll be his decision, and a chance for the Spurs to truly move forward with rebuilding. But if that's the way things go down, it'll likely mean the end of the Popovich era as well.

Heading into this lockout, the forecast was even stormier for the Spurs than it was for the rest of the league.
Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:33 pm

Parker says the window has closed for the Spurs

Tony Parker says Spurs "can no longer say" they are playing for a title. 

Posted by Matt Moore

The Spurs certainly looked throughout the regular season as if they'd still be playing right now. They looked like they had one more glorious run left in them, a last chance to face down the Lakers, overcome and win an NBA title to send their own version of the Big 3 (which has been around a lot longer than the others) off into the sunset in style. It was perfect. And everything came apart, thanks to the very thing that won them so many titles, defense. They couldn't stop the Grizzlies and had to rely on their offense to create. It simply wasn't there.

The Celtics and Lakers have both pledged that this season isn't the end for them, even though they, like the Spurs, are at home watching younger, hungrier teams compete for the gold. Championship caliber experienced teams don't implode, really, they have to be dragged and pried apart with crowbars and heavy equipment.  Except that Tony Parker, in an interview on the FIBA website where he says he will put more and wear tear on his wheels playing for France his summer, went ahead and made it clear he thinks the window is closed. From FIBA.com: 

Parker says that age has finally caught up with the Spurs.

"At the start of the season I said this was our last chance," he said.

"Tim and Gino (Manu Ginobili) are getting old. It's going to be tough to regenerate ourselves.

"We will always have a good team but we can no longer say that we're playing for a championship."
via FRA – Parker: "Lockout or no lockout, I will play for France" | FIBA.COM.

Whether that's a demand on ownership to rebuild the roster to make them contenders or defeatism remains to be seen. But for a guy who the Spurs just gave a huge extension, to, it's got to be concerning to have him shut the door on title contention while Tim Duncan's NBA career is still breathing. An old roster can still win a title, it just has to be surrounded by the right pieces. Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair, and Matt Bonner weren't the right pieces. But no matter how bleak the situation, the star point guard, the youngest of your team's Big 3 shouldn't be admitting the run is over in the press. 

I'm sure Coach Popovich is just going to think this kind of attitude is swell. 

(HT SBNation.com)
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com