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The Spurs, writing, and ChatGPT

Syndication: Observer and?Eccentric Susan Bromley | via Imagn Content Services, LLC

You may have heard about the AI chatbot that’s being represented as a major threat to ... well, in one way or another, to every writer on the planet. So, in curiosity as to the size and shape of this challenge (not to mention how impending it is) I created an OpenAI account and asked ChatGPT to generate a 1000 word article in the style of Zach Lowe on the San Antonio Spurs’ chances of getting the top spot in the NBA draft in order to sign Victor Wembanyama.

And I was filled with a sense of peace as it replied with the following response that’s barely 400 words long.

The San Antonio Spurs have been a mainstay in the NBA for decades, but in recent years, their performance has slipped. The team has failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the past two seasons, and they currently sit near the bottom of the league standings. This has led many to speculate about the team’s future, with some suggesting that they could be in line for the top spot in the upcoming NBA draft.

If the Spurs do end up with the top pick, they will likely be in a prime position to sign Victor Wembanyama, a highly-touted prospect from France. Standing at 7’2”, Wembanyama is an incredibly talented big man who has drawn comparisons to NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon. He is a dominant force on both ends of the court, and many believe that he has the potential to be a franchise player.

The Spurs have had success in the past with international players, most notably with Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Both players played key roles in helping the team win multiple NBA championships, and it’s possible that Wembanyama could have a similar impact.

If the Spurs do manage to sign Wembanyama, they will need to surround him with the right pieces in order to maximize his potential. This could mean making some tough decisions in terms of personnel, as the team may need to clear some space in order to make room for him.

One player who could be on the chopping block is veteran forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is still a very talented player, but at 35 years old, he may not be part of the team’s long-term plans. Moving him could free up some much-needed cap space for the Spurs to make a play for Wembanyama.

Another option for the Spurs could be to trade for a younger, more athletic player who can complement Wembanyama’s skill set. The team has been rumored to be interested in guards like Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, both of whom could provide the team with some much-needed scoring and playmaking ability.

Ultimately, the Spurs’ chances of landing the top spot in the draft and signing Wembanyama are uncertain. There are a lot of factors at play, and the team will need a lot of luck in order to make it happen. But if they do, they could be well on their way to rebuilding their team and returning to championship contention.

I wondered if perhaps I was being harsh on the bot by only giving it one chance when the website states under its Capabilities that it “Remembers what user said earlier in the conversation” and “Allows user to provide follow-up corrections.”

So I replied with, “LaMarcus Aldridge left the Spurs during the 2021 season and Wembanyama is more comparable to Giannis Antetokounmpo than Hakeem Okajuwon,” and waited to see if it would reply with an update. But all it said in response was this canned speech:

“I apologize if the information in my previous response was not accurate. I am a large language model trained by OpenAI and my knowledge is limited to what I was trained on, which was up until 2021. I am not able to browse the web or access updated information, so I cannot provide current information on the San Antonio Spurs or the NBA in general. My responses are based on the information and style that I was trained on, and may not reflect real-world events or current circumstances.”

Oh well. Guess we’re safe for the moment,