At the end of the 08/09 season, San Antonio Spurs majority owner Peter Holt made a conscience decision when his franchise was eliminated from the 2008 NBA Playoffs, to get his team back to the playoffs no matter the cost. Mr. Holt wasn't lying. The Spurs, now well over $10 million over the salary cap, have retooled and doled out the cash, something rarely done in small market San Antonio. Not only will Peter Holt pay his players, he will have to pay a dollar for every dollar over the salary cap of $69.9 million. Again, in small market San Antonio, a pretty big deal.
In the beginning of 2008/09 season the San Antonio Spurs were challenging for basketball supremacy as they hosted the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
SPURS THINK BACK
Think back to the hungriness of the 2002-2003 season. Think back to a time when the pocketbooks opened again and a fresh set of veteran players appeared. Players like Stephen Jackson, Danny Ferry, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr and Steve Smith. Think back to another season of change, when another draftee of change appeared on the Spurs roster. Then, it was a smallish guard out of Argentina by the name of Manu Ginobili. Now, it's a freakish man-child named Dejuan Blair. He with a 7-ft wingspan and the ability to rebound like another former Spurs enforcer, Dennis Rodman. While Rodman was no doubt a wonder as a basketball player (he used to avg. 19.2 ppg and 12.7 rpg) he was a menace to the team as a whole. For the Spurs now, there is no worry whatsoever that Blair will be such a locker room distraction. There is, however, a high hope that he will live up to expectations, both his own and the Spurs.
With the off season acquisition of former Milwaukee Bucks swingman Richard Jefferson, former All Star forward Antonio McDyess and Center Theo Ratliff, the Spurs ability to mesh young players with tested veterans has never been more apparent. The draft picks of not only Blair but also (targeted) Miami Hurricanes star shooting guard Jack McClinton (who finished his college career as the third leading scorer in the ACC where he averaged 19.4 ppg and repeated First team All-ACC Honors), and another obscure French point guard Nando de Cola have put the Spurs in position to again contend for an NBA title, much like the 2002-2003 season. Think back then to 2003, when former All Star and NBA Top 50 Player David Robinson announced that the season would indeed be his last. Think back to the emphasis it put on the team to perform for its star. Think now in present terms and the need for Duncan to get another title and the hunger for a team to perform for its star player. Duncan is one of those guys you want to win for, which is how the Spurs organization runs. It's how it ran back then and its how it runs now, a smooth operator in the mad NBA world.
Be sure to get your tickets to the Spurs games of your choice because this will be one wild season.
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