Spurs

Brett Brown Spurs

Report: Brett Brown being urged not to take Sixers’ head coaching job

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The Philadelphia 76ers took a long, convoluted route to finding the man they wanted to replace former head coach Doug Collins. The man they selected might not take the job however, as ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown is being urged to pass on the Sixers’ offer.

Turning down a head coaching job would be a big decision for an assistant that wasn’t even the top guy on his own staff — that honor goes to new Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer — but it could pay off for him in the long run.

The Sixers aren’t expected to be competitive in their first season under new general manager Sam Hinkie and are widely considered the favorites for a top pick in next year’s loaded NBA Draft. If Brown endures a sixty-loss season, the first-year head coach would be starting his stateside career in quite the hole and without much to add to his resume if he’s canned for a higher-profile coach next season. That could put Brown in the company of a guy like Mike Dunlap, who coached an already bad Charlotte Bobcats team to a 21-61 record last season before being replaced after just one year on the job. Kevin O’Neill, Sam Vincent, Quinn Buckner, Jeff Bower, Johnny McCarthy, John Wetzel, Leonard Hamilton and fellow candidate Michael Curry were also canned after their first season as an NBA head coach — and none of them have been able to get another head job since.

If the Sixers aren’t going to give Brown enough money and job security to prove that they want him for the long haul — and not just as a cheap Band-Aid while they rebuild their roster — it likely isn’t going to be worth his time when considering he should have more opportunities next summer. Because, if Philadelphia decides they don’t want to commit to a long-term deal with Brown this season, what’s stopping the Australian national team coach (he coached in the Australian league for years before coming to the Spurs) from waiting and applying for the job next summer … when the team’s prospects are better and he’s got a year of top experience under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio?

It’s an interesting spot for both sides: the Sixers don’t necessarily want to win this year and likely aren’t interested in committing too much to a head coach that they want to lose in his first season. But, if they really think a guy like Brown is their coach of the future, they’ll have to open their pocketbooks to make sure the risk of starting off really bad doesn’t scare him away.

Tony Parker says Spurs no longer playing for a title

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
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It’s over.

It’s not just us saying that the championship era of the San Antonio Spurs has come to an end, it’s now the Spurs themselves.

Tony Parker was interviewed by French sports paper L’Equipe, translated by the official FIBA website (via the amazing Tom Ziller), and he was frank about the future of this Spurs roster.

“At the start of the season I said this was our last chance,” he said. “Tim (Duncan) 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.”

Parker talks about the frustration and disappointment of the season’s ending, having a great regular season (top seed in the West) that came crashing down in the playoffs. The fixes needed to make the Spurs contenders again are not simple tweaks or Gregg Popovich forcing the team focus back to defense. The changes to the roster will be deeper.

On another note, Parker said he will play for France this summer in EuroBasket, with Olympic bids on the line.

But he also discusses the big issue with NBA players in that and other international tournaments this summer — the lockout and insurance.

“If there is a lockout, the NBA won’t pay their part for the players’ insurances (to play at the EuroBasket, FIBA Americas Championship, Afrobasket, FIBA Oceania Championship),” he warned.

“So that’s going to create a huge problem. There have already been some meetings and we will see what happens. We will see what Patrick Beesley (France national team director) and his team get out of it. We will have to see with Boris (Diaw) and Joakim (Noah) if we can get together and find a common accord. We’ll see.”

It’s over.

It’s not just us saying that the championship era of the San Antonio Spurs has come to an end, it’s now the Spurs themselves.

Tony Parker was interviewed by French sports paper L’Equipe, translated by the official FIBA website (h/t to the stud that is Tom Ziller), and Parker was frank about the future of this roster of the Spurs.

“At the start of the season I said this was our last chance,” he said. “Tim (Duncan) 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.”

Parker talks about the frustration and disappointment of the season’s ending, having a great regular season (top seed in the West) that came crashing down in the playoffs. The fixes needed to make the Spurs contenders again are not simple tweaks or Gregg Popovich forcing the team focus back to defense. The changes to the roster will be deeper.

On another note, Parker said he will play for France this summer in EuroBasket, with Olympic bids on the line.

But he also discusses the big issue with NBA players in that and other international tournaments this summer — the lockout and insurance.

“If there is a lockout, the NBA won’t pay their part for the players’ insurances (to play at the EuroBasket, FIBA Americas Championship, Afrobasket, FIBA Oceania Championship),” he warned.

“So that’s going to create a huge problem. There have already been some meetings and we will see what happens. We will see what Patrick Beesley (France national team director) and his team get out of it. We will have to see with Boris (Diaw) and Joakim (Noah) if we can get together and find a common accord. We’ll see.”

Popovich says don't leave Spurs out of title mix

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gpopovich.jpgThe Spurs won 50 games last season, something you barely noticed because it’s expected of them, and they should be better this season. Tony Parker should be healthy, George Hill’s game should take another stride forward, Tiago Splitter will be a boost.

Yet you do not hear “San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference contenders.” In part because it’s hard to put any name but “Los Angeles Lakers” in that sentence, but in part because people are looking past the Spurs.

In a conversation with reporters today, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says the Spurs should be in that conversation. Here are some tweets from Jeff McDonald, San Antonio News Express Spurs reporter.

More Pop on offseason: “We think they have the potential to be fantastic – and fantastic means have an opportunity to win a championship.”

Pop worked out RJ individually this summer: “His dedication and development are going to be one of the most important things for our success

Pop on Tim Duncan’s shape: “I think he’s even slimmer than he was last year. He’s serious about this.”

Pop on Splitter: “He’s a really, solid player who’s going to have a great NBA career, but he’s not going to lead us in scoring.”

I am high on Tiago Splitter, but with this roster he should not be leading them in scoring, or anywhere close. Around 7 points a game, 8 or more rebounds, solid defense and just some smart play and he’ll be an upgrade for them as a guy they can stick along side Tim Duncan on the front line.

And Popovich is right, Richard Jefferson will be a key. But winning a championship… well he kind of have to say that right now, doesn’t he? Doesn’t mean we have to believe it either. But they will be good, and overlooked.