The San Antonio Spurs are expected to finish at the bottom of the Western Conference standings this upcoming season. With expectations for winning totals low, there is clearly a need to emphasize player development.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is well aware of the current reality facing the organization. He jokingly told reporters at media day not to go to Las Vegas and bet his team on winning the NBA Finals this upcoming season.
“I probably shouldn’t have said that,” Popovich said. “But I would say that no one here should go to Vegas with the idea of betting on us winning a championship. I know someone will say, ‘Oh my God, Debbie Downer is amazing. There’s a chance, if Are they really working hard? It probably won’t happen, but that’s not the point.”
Likewise, without a full-fledged All-Star, the Spurs’ focus will be on player development. They have the second-youngest team in the NBA. After averaging 17.0 points per game last season, Keldon Johnson will play a bigger role. There are a few recent lottery picks to highlight, including Jeremy Sochan, Josh Primo and Devin Vassell. Other players such as Tre Jones will play a larger role.
“Honestly, I don’t care. You all know what I care about,” Popovich said. “The key is to develop this team and give them the best chance to have a long NBA career and have fun. Anyone after me has a chance to take them to the next level. So Your job at this point is really to get them started the right way. Like a newborn baby, provide the baby with all the nutrients it needs to develop properly. Everything else will take care of itself. No matter what success we have, will come from here.”
“Well, I secretly trust you all,” Popovich joked. “I wouldn’t say that to them! They’ll never hear because you’ll never… It’s basically our secret.”
Popovich explained that even though the team is in the era of a lineup led by Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the focus is still on setting standards. With the right talent, the results come naturally. .
“Even if we win the championship, it’s not winning or losing,” Popovich said. “We never told anyone how many titles we thought we won that year, we thought we won that year. It never came. So it’s the same standard as it is now: be the best you can be. Yes.”
The Spurs kick off their NBA preseason schedule with a game against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
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