After three-and-half frustrating years in Sacramento, Rudy Gay was ready to return from a devastating Achilles injury and join a winning club. He accomplished that by joining the team with the top culture in the league: the San Antonio Spurs. He met his goals of successfully returning from injury and making the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t hungry for more.
Gay recently say down with Hoops Hype to discuss his year with the Spurs, including their culture, players, Gregg Popovich, and how much longer he feels he can play. While there’s no timeline, he believes by next season he will be closer to himself after being further removed from his injury. Here’s to hoping it’s with the Spurs.
Bonus: Not to make this about Kawhi Leonard, but Gay was naturally asked about that situation. Like other Spurs players his answer seems to contradict the media — “I definitely think it was blown out of proportion” — so there’s another layer to that juicy plot.
DJ is already back at work
The season ended for the Spurs 13 days ago, but you can probably assume Dejounte Murray has already been back in the gym for ten days by now. Year 3 in the league (and Year 2 as the starting point guard) will be a big one in deciding his future. While Murray showed plenty promise and improvement this season, there’s still plenty more work to do, and he’s not about to let any time pass before he gets back to work. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see what some extensive time with Chip Engelland does for him next season.
Analyzing what went wrong this season
Not many things could have gone more wrong this season for the Spurs — and yet they still won 47 games and made the playoffs. Not many teams can say that. Still, even without Kawhi there were plenty of other things the Spurs could have done better, so here are some breakdowns of everything that ailed them this season:
- Issues on the road (Air Alamo)
- Decline in three point accuracy (Project Spurs)
- Age, depth, and injuries (Hoops Habit)
Sick burn, Dave
Newly-named Knicks head coach David Fizdale is known two things: for being a player’s coach, and his sharp tongue. (Who can forget the former Grizzlies coach’s infamous “Take that for data” rant during the first round of the playoffs last season?)
It was a surprise to many, including Pop, when he was fired after a 7-12 start to this season, but no doubt his release was at least partially due to a not-so-private spat with franchise player Marc Gasol. Now more juicy details about their differences are coming out, and you can add this latest Coach Fiz stinger to his ever-growing list of them.
According to a New York Daily News article, things boiled over between the two when Fizdale asked his team if they thought they were capable of winning a championship. Most players played along and said yes, but Gasol said they couldn’t because they didn’t have “the right leader”. Fiz’s response?
“I get it, you want Gregg Popovich, and I want LeBron James.”
Ouch! While that tells you how highly Fiz thinks of Pop, the bigger burn there is basically implying that Gasol is no leader himself, unlike James (some might recall Fizdale was a Miami Heat assistant during The King’s time there). Maybe Marc should have considered the Spurs’ offer back in 2015? (Although considering the direction his body has gone since then, I’m not so sure he would have been better than Aldridge in the long run, which despite his resurgent season this year is saying something.)
Have a good one!