Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please …… Just Don’t Do It !
Just when I thought that things couldn’t get worse in the world of sports, insofar as the teams that I support. The whole damn carpet gets pulled out from underneath me with one big earth shattering utterance. And then finding out that this scenario is fomenting around the front office of my beloved San Antonio Spurs. What’s that you might ask ? Well according to well placed sources and now reports. It is being alleged that Spurs’ GM R.C Buford in conjunction with the team’s coach Gregg Popovich are considering acquiring Suns’ longtime center and power forward, Amar’e Stoudemire. Great you might say ? But my question is, who do the Spurs relinquish in order to obtain Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns ? At first thought , I felt upon reading the story that there’d be no way in hell that the either Burford or Popovich would think of ‘splitting up “The Big Three” ! But that may well be the case, as the supposed options are that it’ll be either Manu Ginobli or Tony Parker leaving the team. What in the wide world of sports is going on here ? Have they both lost their friggin’ minds ? I love both ‘Pop’ and ‘RC’ to death, as they are ‘the architects’ of the team’s undoubted success over the last decade and a half. But this is just about to send me right over the edge and into an abyss of despair. I cannot envisage either of the two players in question not being on this roster playing for the organization. But if it’s meant to be , then so be it ! And I am saying this all, rather reluctantly. If it brings another NBA title to the organization then I may well overlook this all and just chalk it up to overzealousness on my part.
If push comes to shove, then it may well be that Ginobli will be the pawn that’s given up in order to acquire Stoudemire from the Suns. If any of you have read my most recent NBA piece, (click here) in which it dealt with the ineptitude shown by the Phoenix Suns under the guidance of their GM, Steve Kerr and that of their renowned owner , Robert Sarver. Then you’ll be fully aware as to what I’ve been talking about. For all sense and purpose in the evolution of things. If R C Buford can be considered to be one of the most astute and knowledgeable general managers around the NBA. Then Steve Kerr would be considered to be most certainly amongst ‘the worst’ of the general managers in the entire NBA. Just look at his assemblying the Suns’ roster and their recent personnel decision making and maneuvers and one can well consider why Suns have underachieved and continue to do so to this day. And it hasn’t , with them naming Alvin Gentry to take over from Mike D’Antoni, who was fired by the organization after a rather disappointing season. The fault of which is by no means was D’Antoni’s alone. It was a collective collapse allround from within the organization from top to bottom. Much of it constructed with the sheer ineptitude shown by ‘the team’, as well as that of their front office.
George Hill (3) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls in a game that was played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would go on to lose the game to the Bulls 98-93 that was played on 25th January, 2010.
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
By Adrian Wojnarowski
Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire(notes): the San Antonio Spurs.
Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.
There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel – including possibly Manu Ginobili – to make a deal happen?
Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?
Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?
All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs – yet.
Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.
“They know they’ve got to do something,” says a source familiar with the front office’s thinking. “They feel like they’ve got to at least look at this … and they are.”
The Miami Heat are exploring the possibility of a deal, but Pat Riley also knows he can keep Dwyane Wade and sign Stoudemire as a free agent this summer. Miami’s president doesn’t have to make a trade now. Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota are among other teams with an interest with Stoudemire.
For Phoenix and San Antonio, there could be a different urgency. The Suns are motivated to move Stoudemire out of a growing belief they’ll never come to terms with him on a contract extension. Stoudemire can opt out of the $17.7 million owed him next season. Suns owner Robert Sarver has been in constant cost-cutting mode, and although he does want to keep Stoudemire, it’s become increasingly unlikely that will happen.
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San Antonio has been playing quite well at present, given in fact how competitive the entire Western Conference appears to be on year in , year out basis. And within the division where the Spurs play , things aren’t the less difficult at all. Within the Southwest Division they’re aligned alongside the Dallas Mavericks (30-15), Memphis Grizzlies (24-19), Houston Rockets (24-20), New Orleans (24-20) and the San Antnio Spurs (25-18) themselves, with a recrord that would garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. The division makes for one, that is as combative and competitive as it appears to look at first glance. This may well be in terms of ‘from top to bottom’ the most competitive of all the divisions within the entire NBA. It’s certainly not lacking in class, in terms of either the talent to be seen or the overall caliber of the teams.
San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager, R.C. Buford speaking with the convened press at the team’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.
Amar’e Stoudemire is in the last year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. But it appears as such that he’s reluctant to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. What one might choose to read into that, is open to a great deal of debate and speculation. But given the situation there in Phoenix , where other Stoudemire , Steve Nash and Grant Hill. The team is a relatively young one that Kerr may well now feel that it’s best to build for the future , rather than carry on with certain remants of the past. Most certainly Nash and Hill aren’t getting any younger and in all reality the window of opportunity for this team to have won an NBA championship passed by a number of years ago. Such has been the inconsistency shown from the teams making their presence really felt in the postseason. That with each passing effort , it has been repeatedly deja-vu all over again. And much of that and the failings of the team can be squarely laid to rest on the shoulders of Steve Kerr.
While no disputes the fact that Stoudemire would be a good fit for the Spurs. There’s no denying that the Popovich and Buford might well be giving up far more than is needed to acquire the Suns’ player. Unless the deal involves multiple players or quite possibly a third team needs to be involved to facilitate such a deal. Then we may well see nothing at all go down . But the fans of this particular flame that has started this rumor continues to go on unabated. As alluded to earlier, Stoudemire is in the final year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. Though it’s not known whether or no the Suns do have a desire to re-sign the player. There does appear to be a reluctance on Amar’e Stoudemire’s part to remain with the team. He knows that he can test the .’waters of free agency’ at the end of this season. There, he will be amongst a ‘crop of top-line’ of marquee names , of which are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson will be the most desired of all, alongside Stoudemire, himself.
While I for one won’t deny that Stoudemire would on the face of it, be a good fit for the San Antonio Spurs. My reluctance just doesn’t stem from the fact that I don’t want to see the triumvirate of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker broken up. It also comes from the very fact that the Spurs may well be giving up far more than is necessary in acquiring the player. Granted , it may not only be Ginobli that’ll be part of the mix should this deal go down. But for all essence and purpose , Ginobli is the bait that is being dangled by Buford and Popovich as they supposedly go about trying to acquire the All Star center and power forward. It may well take an additional number of players to facilitate the deal or quite possibly a third or fourth team to enact a multi-player deal. Whatever now takes place, this could very well be the first salvo being fired as a number of teams jockey themselves with an eye to the trade deadline and beyond.
Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich speaks with the convened press concerning the team’s NBA draft picks of last season .
If I were as such just a bystander in all of this with no real affiliation other than being an NBA and a sport’s fan. Then I would look at the proposed deal and say ….’wow the Spurs intend to give the Lakers a run for their money’ ! But I am not, I’m an ardent and an avowed fan of this team and while I see the deal’s advantages. I also see its inherent dangers and the possible seismic shift that it could bring should things not work out right. But when you’ve got a coach with the pedigree of Gregg Popovich and a General Manager as astute as R. C. Burford , then I guess that I shouldn’t really have to worry ? Or should I ? What do you think ? All I know is that this roster when they’re playing at their optimum level , they are good enough to derail the ambition of the Los Angeles Lakers and ‘any other team’ who might stand in their way !
All photos appear courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images or courtesy of the Associated Press