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How to make it through the Spurs offseason

I didn’t contribute as I thought I would in the off-season. But I’ve got a new stool.

You probably won’t have noticed, or maybe you have, but I’ve kept quiet since my rookie season as a PtR writer concluded in May. The reason for that is simple: I chose to fully focus on developing my skills ahead of my sophomore season — with pen-handling, ballpoint of attack defense and crashing the keyboards my priorities.

I’m only joking, of course. I wanted to contribute during the offseason, and I thought I would. But it just didn’t happen. I simply had no idea what to write about. Which is a bit strange, since there was no shortage of topics in what felt to me like a landslide off-season by Spurs standards. Number one option DeMar DeRozan, sixth man Rudy Gay, and number-eight-not-yet-in-the-rafters Patty Mills all have left the franchise. That’s around 80 minutes per game to be reallocated. But since I couldn’t come up with more than an educated guess as to how those minutes would be spread out, I wrote nothing.

Then there was the draft. My initial reaction to the Spurs’ picking of Josh Primo at least gives me the opportunity to use my favorite word in the English language – I was flabbergasted. But what to write about a guy whose name I had either never heard of, or I had failed to memorize, despite binge-reading mock drafts in July? Again, no post from me.

Maybe I can write something about the free agent signings, I thought. Then I read the names of the first signings. My mind wasn’t a total blank, but my expertise on Doug McDermott and Zach Collins didn’t stretch much further than good outside shooter/not so good defender and mobile big/always injured. Again, nothing to contribute. And still no ideas.

Then, some days ago, a dear friend of mine gave me something he had made for me. And this, I feel, I must share with you.

My friend and I have known each other for years. We often see each other. And when we we sit at his table, we drink beer, and then we talk – often music, sometimes politics, but mostly just plain nonsense. One thing we have never talked is hoops, because he’s not even remotely interested in that. But he knows I am. After all, people don’t often see me not wearing one of my many fiesta-colored hats, or one in silver and black.

My friend’s an avid do-it-yourselfer, and through the many lockdown months over here in Germany, he has been experimenting with making wooden furniture. He made a chest of drawers that can extend into a desk (with the desk parts disappearing in the chest when not needed), and he built some stools using skateboard decks for seating, one of which he made for me. The great guy that he is, he wanted me to instantly identify with it. So what did he do? He googled the fiesta logo he knew from hats, extended it to the left and to the right, had it printed on foil, and stuck it to the deck.

Now it’s in our living awaiting its first designated use as crunch time stool. Sounds stupid? Let me explain.

I am suspect to strong reactions when Spurs games go down to the wire. Not just verbally, but also physically. It’s often impossible for me to keep sitting on the couch in crunch time. I impulsively get up, I move around the table, and I place myself right in front of the TV. When there’s a timeout or some other stoppage, I move back around the table and on the couch. Depending on how crunchy crunch time is, this process may repeat itself numerous times. Which is pain. But these days are over.

From now on, whenever a game I watch reaches crunch time, I will get up once, place my stool where I used to stand, and sit down on it whenever there is a show stopper. Before and after crunch time, I’ll be happy just looking at it.