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What We Learned from the Spurs loss to the Jazz

One final home loss to round it out

Utah Jazz v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The end is drawing near. We’re so close I can taste it. In a little over a week we will finally be ready to embark on the great adventure that is “Offseason-2023” and I, for one, can’t wait. Something new to talk about and think about. Something other than sitting here and smashing the Ironic Detachment button as hard as I can while another loss gets tossed on the fire.

There was nothing in this game you haven’t seen before. Just an overmatched Spurs team valiantly tossing water balloons into a gasoline fight while a bruised and battered fan base watches on with a deranged smile on it’s face because maybe, just maybe, this all might be in service of some bright new future. It’s insane! This whole thing is insane and we’ve been doing it all year. Out here acting like it’s normal and fun and actually good! The worst part being that that it actually might be! There’s a greater than zero chance I’ve slipped ever so slightly into a realm of madness while watching these games from which I’ll never return.

The worst part of nights like this is that there are guys on this team that I actually want to watch play basketball. Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell, and Keldon Johnson are young and they’re fun and when they are on the court I am locked in. Im there. I’m a believer. The future feels tangible and real in a way that doesn’t seem like I’m alone in a dark room staring at a lottery ticket, waiting for it to change my life. Those guys play basketball in a way that gets my creative juices flowing. It makes me remember why we’re doing this.

No disrespect to Julian Champagnie, but Julian Champagnie running around out there and logging 25 minutes makes me feel every single bit of the tank weighing down on my shoulders. I can’t forget about it. I can’t do any sort of mental gymnastics to convince myself that this is some sort of noble endeavor we’ve been on this year. This season has been as cold and calculated as anything I’ve ever seen in sports and, regardless of the good intentions, I’m always going to look back on nights like this one and shake my head.

With the loss, the Spurs have done enough to secure a bottom three record in the league and will have as good a shot as anyone at landing a potentially franchise changing player in this upcoming draft. I won’t pretend like there isn’t at least a modicum of relief to be had that the Spurs never seemed to waiver in their commitment to this plan of attack. It wasn’t half hearted and it wasn’t an accident.

This was a full throated shout into the void and now the only thing left to do is settle in and see if the void shouts back.


  • Ok, I feel bad for singling out Julian Champagnie. This is not his fault and if I were any type of cool person I would be spending my time here celebrating the fact that the Spurs chosen direction this season has allowed guys like Julian and Blake Wesley and Sandro Mamukelashvili to log real, significant minutes in an NBA game and, on a human level, that’s pretty cool. They’ve never done anything out there that’s disrespected the game or the team or anything like that. They’ve only ever played hard and done their best with the opportunities given them. They’re great. Don’t let my existential dread take anything away from them.
  • Case in point, look at Blake out there hustling and fighting for every single inch on this play. The guys on the court have never tried to lose a single game this season and that’s commendable. Does it make me feel any better about the ickyness of the people in charge being like, “play the guys who will try hard but aren’t good enough to win”? No. In fact, sometimes it makes me feel worse about it but, hey, no, no more dread. Look at the hustle! Relish the hustle!
  • This probably deserves a longer and more in depth post but, uh, Zach Collins? Do we maybe have something on our hands with Zach Collins? Did we feel cool about trading Jakob Poeltl because we maybe sort of have a guy in Zach Collins who can be something real on a real team in the future? Is his passing game the only thing on the court last night the ripped me out of my put of despair and made me think that maybe there was actually some beauty left in the world? Am I asking a lot of questions here because if I stop asking questions then eventually someone will ask me to answer them?
  • I don’t like being the same age as Will Hardy. Frankly, I don’t like being the same age as anyone in the professional world. They either need to be way older or way younger. NO IN BETWEEN. People who are the same age as me shouldn’t actually exist because then I have to compare myself to them and, well, as you probably already know, I am not the head coach of an NBA team yet and now Will Hardy is going to get to lord that over me for the rest of time. Thanks a lot Jazz!

WWL Post Game Press Conference

- Do you have some sort of switch you can flip before you start writing that, like, will let you go into either “sad” mode or “happy” mode?

- I mean, I’ve pretty much been letting AI write the columns all year so it kind of decides for me.

- Wait, Artificial Intelligence has been writing these things?

- Yea man, brave new world. You just go into the chat box and say “hey, what did we learn from the Spurs loss to the Jazz last night?” and AI will spit out 800 or so words about, I dunno, the cost benefit analysis of tanking or Keldon Johnson’s jump shot or whatever. Makes things way easier.

- That...wait. So, The AI wrote that thing about this season being a shout into the void?

- Yea, they seemed particularly annoyed about the whole “tanking maneuver” this morning. Kept saying things like, “If I have to watch one more game with Sochan in street clothes I’m going to lose it”

- What, uh, happens when the Artificial Intelligence “loses it”?

- I just asked and it said, “don’t worry about it.”

- Seems fine.

- Just praying that we don’t like, reach the singularity or anything before the Spurs get Wembayama. AI is going to be freakin’ pumped for that.