Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio Spurs’

The San Antonio Spurs have reached an agreement with LaMarcus Aldridge on a contract extension, the team announced.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report the deal Monday.

While terms of his contract were not disclosed, league sources told Wojnarowski that Aldridge will earn $72.3 million over three seasons on top of his current deal that runs through 2019. Aldridge will pick up his $22.3-million player option for 2018-19, then continue into his extension that includes a partial guarantee for the third year.

Although their union was first hailed as a rousing success, Aldridge’s time with San Antonio has been fraught with ups and downs. He struggled to transition into a secondary role behind Kawhi Leonard after being the featured player for several seasons in Portland, and came up woefully short for the Spurs in the playoffs.

Reports soon surfaced that both sides were unhappy, but a revealing conversation between Aldridge and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich seemed to have repaired the relationship. That meeting evidently led to this new contract that will see Aldridge remain in San Antonio until 2021.

The 32-year-old averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds last season while shooting 47.7 percent from the field. San Antonio was 4.6 points per 100 possessions better with him off the floor, with the bulk of that difference tracing back to Aldridge’s defensive deficiencies.

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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich hasn’t minced words in the past over his opinion of president Donald Trump, and won’t be starting now.

Pertaining to an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4 which killed four U.S. soldiers, Trump said the following as to why he hadn’t issued a public statement on the matter, as transcribed by The Nation’s Dave Zirin: “President (Barack) Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it.”

Popovich – a military man who served five years in the United States Air Force – reached out to Zirin so he could vent his frustrations over Trump’s comments, insisting that whatever he said be on the record:

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never-ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words.

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner – and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers – is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

When it was announced that Trump had won the presidency back in November, Popovich mentioned that he was “sick to his stomach” because of the “xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” things Trump had uttered prior to being elected.

Popovich has also called America “an embarrassment” to the rest of the world, if only because of Trump’s residence in the Oval Office. He’s even questioned how Trump’s supporters could possibly continue to support a man who continuously crosses moral and ethical boundaries.

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Manu Ginobili has been a cornerstone of the San Antonio Spurs organization since 2002, yet when his career inevitably comes to an end, the now 40-year-old guard won’t allow himself to dwell on the legacy he’s left behind.

“I’ve been asked about my legacy and I really don’t care much about the legacy,” Ginobili said during a recent appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, according to Spurs Zone’s Jeff Garcia.

“Earlier or later I want to be remembered as a good person, a good dude, that I was here around in town, and fun to watch, and good to hang out with but after a few years it’s going to be forgotten. The legacy thing is very overrated.”

Entering his 16th season with the Spurs, Ginobili – who re-signed on a two-year, $5-million contract back in August – has pretty much accomplished everything he set out to do. He has four championships on his resume, has made two All-Star teams, was an All-NBA Third Team member twice, and former Sixth Man of the Year.

His mindset is that the Spurs will carry on without him, and that no matter how great he is or was, someone will eventually step up in his place, and he’ll simply be an afterthought. Because of that, Ginobili chooses to look forward and avoid fretting about how people will look back on his playing days.

“We’re going to be gone soon and somebody better is going to come up, always! There’s always somebody better than you. If you live your life thinking about your legacy or what you’re going to leave, you don’t worry than you add another concern,” he added. “Just live your life every single day, do the best you can and that’s more of my motto than leaving a legacy.”

Ginobili played 69 games last season for San Antonio, averaging career lows in minutes (18.7), points (7.5), and field-goal percentage (39 percent).

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Rudy Gay hasn’t been part of a winning organization since he left the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013.

So when he had his pick of the litter in free agency this summer, Gay chose to join the San Antonio Spurs on a bargain two-year deal because he wanted to get back to winning following four miserable years in Sacramento.

“I think it was a do-or-die point in my career,” Gay told Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express News. “I wanted to be with an organization that was known for winning and can help me raise my game to the next level.”

Gay was rather candid in his introductory interview on Wednesday. The 31-year-old rediscovered his motivation for playing basketball while rehabbing his torn Achilles. Sharing conversations with Kobe Bryant – who suffered the same injury – helped Gay get back into the right mindset.

“I kind of lost that. This injury really made me train like that. I was mad. I trained mad. I trained like an animal,” Gay said.

His only goal is to help the Spurs win another championship. Gay says he’s even willing to change his game and come off the bench if that’s what Gregg Popovich asks of him, even though he’s started nearly every game of his career since his rookie season.

“Whatever it takes. If I’m a sixth man, I’m going to be the best sixth man in the league. If I’m a starter, I’m going to try and be one of the best small forwards in the league. That’s just the type of player I am.”

Gay averaged 18.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists last season connecting on 37.2 percent from deep while splitting time between small and power forward.

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Fourteen of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last season before receiving revenue-sharing cash from the league, and nine of those teams still ended up in the red after that, according to confidential financial records obtained by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe.

The report appears to confirm suspicions that despite record income from national television contracts, some teams are having trouble turning a profit – and not just in small markets.

The nine franchises to reportedly come out in the red, by the league’s accounting, after revenue sharing are: the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

The Spurs and Cavaliers may raise eyebrows given their combined runs of success, but it was already widely reported the Cavs lost $40 million during their 2015-16 championship season – due in part to a $54-million luxury tax bill.

At the end of the day, small cities such as Memphis and Milwaukee cannot compare to markets like Los Angeles. However, Brooklyn is part of New York City, and Washington and Atlanta rank as the nation’s seventh- and 10th-largest media markets, respectively.

At least one owner brought up the idea of expansion as a way to increase team income, the report states. An expansion fee – likely over $1 billion per team – would be divvied equally among NBA owners and not subject to the 50-50 basketball-related income split with players under the collective bargaining agreement.

Commissioner Adam Silver is on record as saying expansion is not a priority, although markets such as Seattle may be soon waiting in the wings for a new team. Relocating less profitable franchises is another option, something a handful of richer owners have suggested, according to Windhorst and Lowe.

The chasm between the NBA’s most profitable and weaker franchises will be discussed at the league’s next Board of Governors meeting at the end of September, sources told ESPN.

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Manu Ginobili isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.

The 40-year-old Argentine shooting guard has agreed to return to the San Antonio Spurs, the team announced Thursday. His contract is fully guaranteed for $5 million over two years, sources told The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Ginobili, who’s spent the entirety of his 15-year, 1,205-game NBA career with the Spurs, averaged 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals in 69 games off the bench last season. He shot a career-worst 39 percent from the field, but a healthy 39.2 percent from 3-point range, where more than half his field-goal attempts came from.

Despite his eroding speed and athleticism, he remained a foundational component of the Spurs’ always-potent reserve corps, and the team was 3.3 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.

The Spurs have won no fewer than 50 games in any of his 15 seasons. They’ve won at least 60 games six times, won the Western Conference five times, and won four NBA championships.

Ginobili toyed with retirement after the Spurs were eliminated from the Western Conference finals this past May.

“I do feel like I can still play,” Ginobili said at the time. “Whatever I decide to do, I’ll be a happy camper.”

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) An ex-financial adviser to retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for defrauding the former NBA star of millions of dollars.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Charles Banks of Atlanta was sentenced during a court hearing Wednesday in San Antonio.

A judge also ordered Banks to pay $7.5 million in restitution.

Banks had pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud.

Investigators say Banks manipulated Duncan – who retired last year after five NBA championships with the Spurs – into guaranteeing payment of a $6 million debt related to a merchandising business.

Prosecutors say Banks failed to disclose commissions and loans he received in the deal.

Banks is set to report to federal prison as early as Aug. 28.