This is my first post to the PTR website, and honestly, my first post to any medium on the Internet other than Facebook. I found the site while cruising the web instead of studying for finals last semester. Procrastination at its’ finest.
PTR, whether intended or not, has an aura of ‘exclusivity’ to it. Average fans may be overwhelmed. General basketball fans may hate the endless hometown commentary. It’s obvious to outsiders that the users know each other and have a very personalized site that is somewhat intimidating to try and join. (That feeling of ‘being the new kid in school and not knowing where to sit at lunch’ comes to mind.) So, consider this my peace offering. I’m bringing my Mom’s famous brownies and I’m sitting at the cool kids’ table.
I’ve been watching the Spurs for nearly 15 years. Being a young 20 year old, that covers ¾ of my life. I watched the Spurs win their first championship and slowly build up the Dynasty that stretched from lockout to lockout. I recreated the ‘Memorial Day Miracle’ on my back yard goal a million times. I literally cried when the .04-incident happened against the Lakers. I loved that Bruce Bowen got under the skin of every non-Spurs fan. I love the Spurs. I love the reputation that surrounds them of being boring, being old, but being smart. It has been a thrill to watch them play so successfully for so long. But as this season gets underway, I realized I feel something that I haven’t before:
I have never been so excited about the future of the Spurs. Some of that is rooted in the fact that the future has always been foreseeable. Draft and store. Bring in some (usually) unknown foreign player. Surround the big 3 with role players. Because of the intelligence of PATFO, this has worked much longer than it might have with a different staff. But for the first time in a long time, the future is unclear. Is Duncan going to retire after this year? With the way he plays, can Manu really continue to be an allstar-caliber player the next few seasons? Will Parker be content to play for a small market team without fellow allstars? How long will Pop stay? So many questions are beginning to rise in the back of my head; no matter how much I try to push them down.
But when the Spurs pulled the trigger on the George Hill trade, I knew that I wasn’t the only one with these questions. The Spurs have secretly built up a reserve group that has more potential than even PATFO probably realized. James Bond would be impressed at the weapons the organization has amassed in the recent history. The second unit brings a new mindset to a tired team. Defense. Passing. Balanced attack from different parts of the floor. I understand that it is still early in the season, but this is bench has a chance to prove itself as the deepest and most reliable in the Tim Ducan era. It obviously has the most potential. The staff realized that Duncan’s knees are as old as Gandalf and Manu, unfortunately, does not have the Benjamin Button disease.
Danny Green. Kawhi Leonard. Tiago Splitter. Gary Neal. James Anderson. Get used to these names. They are the beginning of the answers to the questions that the Spurs faithful have begun to ask themselves. Whether we like it or not, the feared ‘rebuilding’ process is upon us over the next few seasons. But if the fourth quarter (and Splitter’s third quarter) of Friday’s SAS/POR game is any indication, the process may not be as slow and painful as it was once predicted to be. Add in the assets the Spurs have stashed overseas and in the D-League, and a fall to mediocrity can certainly be avoided.
The uncertainty of what is ahead is insanely frightening for Spurs fans. But it also makes me more excited with anticipation than I have been about the Spurs in a long while. LWM has shown the rest of the league that the cockroaches in Spurs uniforms still will not be swept under the rug. The future is promising and I am certainly excited to see what madness ensues.
“I am not afraid of Tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” - William Allen White