In the hearts and minds of San Antonio fans, Derrick White will always be a Spur. From the moment he was drafted at that magic spot of 29th in 2017, he was a fan favorite who symbolized what the organization has always been about: an underdog who rose to the top of his profession, humble yet competitive, and always giving back to the community. He seemed like a cornerstone piece of the new foundation the Spurs were trying to build.
As a result, it was a sad day for a fan base that isn’t used to much activity at the trade deadline when White was surprisingly sent to the Boston Celtics last February. When he finally returned for the first time to the AT&T Center 11 months later, he received a classic Spurs tribute video while being announced with the starters. It was a happy reunion and a fun game, even if he was playing for the other team.
That being said, even though he will always feel at home in San Antonio and perfectly fits the old saying, “once a Spur, always a Spur,” legally and contractually, he is not one anymore. His employment is with the Celtics now, but some entities, namely Twitter and NBA Officials (?!) don’t seem to know that. We’ll start with the lesser of the two in terms of “you should know better”: Twitter.
When the Spurs are actively playing, you can go to Twitter’s “Spurs page”, which shows all tweets related to the game. (Note: this is not the Spurs’ official Twitter account, it’s just a page to see a timeline of tweets about the game. I know this is horribly explained, and I apologize to non-Twitter users.) When you eventually get there, Twitter’s “Spurs page” has a White as its cover photo — and a rare one at that: it’s long-haired Derrick without a headband. (Thank you to @AlamoOnTheRise for the screen shot; I couldn’t find it before. And this is the case for every game, not just when they play his new team.)
According to Twitter, Derrick White is still a Spur pic.twitter.com/srM6Nl4CLt— Alamo_On_The_Rise (@AlamoOnTheRise) January 10, 2023
Obviously this is a case of Twitter just never updating a page that is probably rarely visited, but the next transgression is more unforgivable.
Enter, NBA Officials. If you go to https://official.nba.com/, you will be on the official page of the NBA officials (straight forward enough). It’s where you can find information about the referees, the rule book, and replay center information, among other things. Perhaps the most notable feature for fans is the Last Two Minute Report (or L2M). It’s purpose is to highlight all calls and non calls from the last two minutes of close games and report if they were correct or not. It was designed to provide some insight and not make it look like the refs are overly protected. While it’s a nice tool for fans and coaches to say, “I told you so!” if they disagreed with a call/non-call and are proven correct, it’s ultimately pointless because it’s after-the-fact and doesn’t change anything regarding the outcome of the game.
Anyways, because Spurs vs. Celtics last Saturday fit the definition of a close game, there is a L2M report available, and wouldn’t you know it: whoever was in charge of the report for that game mistakenly listed White as being a Spur on two of the four plays he is mentioned in. (The first name is the “committing” player/team, and the second is the “disadvantaged” player/team. CNC is correct non-call, INC is incorrect non-call.)
So according to this, Tre Jones legally brushed his own teammate’s arm? Good thing that was CNC considering you can’t foul your own teammate! And somehow White disadvantaged his own team by getting away with palming the ball? That one is harder to figure out, but if you say so, NBA Officials. In all seriousness, we’re just having a little fun with with this. White is listed with (BOS) after his name on the two other plays he is mentioned in on this report, and going back to any other Celtics L2M reports, he is also listed as a Boston player.
It’s just funny that in two cases (at least that I have found), he is still considered a Spur in one form or another by two very distinct entities: Twitter and the NBA Officials. Yes, one is just the lack of an update on an obscure page on social media, and the other is simply a typo. But this is a long, rebuilding season. We have to have a little fun at the expense of others, right?