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San Antonio Spurs hold players-only meeting after blowout loss to the Timberwolves

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 3: Head Coach Gregg Popovich and Assistant Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs look old during a game on November 3, 2021 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs held a players-only meeting following a brutal 115-90 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last Thursday. Details are coming out about the meeting following the weekend and in advance of the Spurs’ upcoming battle with the Phoenix Suns tonight. During the meeting, Spurs’ youngster Devin Vassell stepped up as a leader for the locker room. According to Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News, Vassell’s leadership impressed veteran Thaddeus Young. 

“Dev stepped up and took the floor, which is great for a young guy. He basically said, ‘Come on, let’s try to figure this thing out. Let’s talk about it. Let’s put everything out there on the table.’ That’s what you want from young guys.”

Thaddeus Young

As of late, San Antonio has been skidding. The Spurs have lost four in a row and seven out of their last 10. The Spurs record is 1-9 when playing other Western Conference teams. While expectations were moderate for the Spurs coming into the season, they played more like a lottery team. But it isn’t just the losses that are hurting; it’s the way the Spurs are losing that team also discussed. 

“We are kicking ourselves in the butt by having mental lapses or having a bad quarter, those types of things. Having misreads on the defensive side of the basketball. Missed opportunities on plays coming out of timeouts.”

Thaddeus Young

While losing is becoming the norm for the Spurs this season, the franchise is still getting used to not being a contending team. 

The San Antonio Spurs staring at a rebuild

The San Antonio Spurs long were the gold standard for success in the NBA. In the NBA bubble, the Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. After that, the Spurs have yet to return to the NBA postseason, finishing 10th and 11th in the last two seasons. With the team being stuck in mediocrity, the team has neither qualified for the playoffs nor gotten high draft picks. 

In this no man’s land, the team is looking for the next step. While there may be some incentive to tank to get better draft capital, they can’t afford to waste the few seasons that Gregg Popovich has left as an NBA coach. We’ll see if the players-only meeting had the desired effect and if the Spurs start winning games again. 

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