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Pounders who follow the former players

Some heartfelt goodbyes have been taking place

New Orleans Pelicans v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Do you follow former Spurs players? Or once they are gone, are they just gone?

I have stated repeatedly that I am a Spurs fan, not a basketball fan. The glimpse I get of players from the 29 other teams happens when they play against the Spurs. Don’t get me wrong, I know LeBron James, Steph Curry and that Durant guy, but players from the next tier generally allude me. I know who Kent Bazemore is, but I couldn't tell you how he’s doing statistically or what team he is currently on.

That said, when players leave the Spurs I always have a warm spot for them when they return to San Antonio. Loved the reception for DeMar DeRozan last season. Patty Mills return brought a tear to my eye. Excited to see Kyle Anderson when he passes through, and always keep an eye out for Cory Joseph.

But I don’t follow them.

But these last few years, since the retirement of the Big 3 and the departure of the Nephew, I have become more vested in the players drafted by the Spurs. Especially the first round picks. From 2016 until 2021 the Spurs drafted Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, Luka Samanic, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassal, and Josh Primo.

With the exception of Samanic, six of those young men appeared to building something, and I was all in.

In just a few short months, we have lost three — White, followed by Murray and Walker IV — of what I believed to be the core of the Spurs next few years.

I found myself following the Boston Celtics (and rooting for them in the playoffs) after the Derrick White trade.

I even considered adding the Atlanta Hawks to my watch list after the Dejounte Murray trade. A backcourt of Murray and Trae Young seems worthy of my attention.*

*New comments and behaviors by DJ may have sullied this already.

And Lonnie Walker IV always had a place in my heart. His community-minded off court personae endeared me to him and his trajectory. Even in a Lakers jersey (and that is saying a lot), I know I’ll check in on him.

How about you? As a basketball fan, will you be following any of these guys? Will you be watching non-Spurs games to see how they are doing? Or is there a “good riddance” vibe to players non longer donning the Silver & Black?

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