In July 2016 Pau Gasol signed with the San Antonio Spurs after playing for the Chicago Bulls for two seasons. The Spurs have long had a reputation for favoring versatile, playmaking international players, and Gasol’s name belongs near the very top when discussing the most impactful Europeans to come to the NBA. In their first season together, Gasol has been everything the Spurs expected, and more. The 36-year-old Spaniard’s scoring and rebounding has been there as usual, but he has also added the 3-point shot to his arsenal, adapting to the changing demands on big men. Gasol is taking 3.1 3-pointers per 100 possessions this season, more than double the number of attempts he put up with the Bulls last season. In his first 14 seasons in the league, Gasol only averaged more than 0.6 3s per 100 possessions one time. The Spurs hadn’t expected such a stellar performance in 3 pointers. Gregg Popovich said regarding Pau, “He’s fulfilled all of our expectations…There were really no surprises. If anything, he’s shooting the 3 more than he has before. That’s been the biggest difference. We didn’t expect that.” Pau Gasol was an excellent pick-up by the Spurs, not only because of his size but because of all that he brings to the table. With the Spurs current line-up, nothing is stopping them from bringing home another championship to San Antonio!
LaMarcus Aldridge jas been a player for the San Antonio Spurs since 2015. The power forward played college basketball for two seasons at the University of Texas. Aldridge was selected second overall in the 2006 NBA draft. After spending nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, On July 9, 2015, Aldridge signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Upon being acquired by the Spurs, Aldridge was granted the number 12 jersey despite it having been retired for Bruce Bowen. Bowen gave Aldridge and the Spurs his blessing to unretire the number for him.He made his debut for the Spurs in the team’s season opener on October 28 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has been selected to four All-NBA teams and is a five-time NBA All-Star. Aldridge is an interesting topic in my family because most of my family is from Oregon and are die hard Portland Trailblazer fans, while I am a Spurs fan but I’ve always been a fan of both teams. When Aldridge was acquired by the Spurs it was a little awkward being a fan of the Spurs while the rest of my family wanted him to stay and help grow the team. LaMarcus Aldridge is a very talented player and Spurs fans are lucky to have him playing for the home team!
There’s a conversation the NBA is having around the Most Valuable Player reward this season. Russell Westbrook and James Harden were the early frontrunners, and LeBron James plays well enough to be considered every year. But even though Kawhi Leonard placed second in last year’s voting, the league’s observers were slow to give him a share of the top forerunners. Then suddenly everyone started talking about Kawhi for MVP after the playing the Rockets. Kawhi led a 16-point comeback against a division rival, scoring 39 points on 12-of-18 shooting with 30 coming in the second half, hit the contested game-winning three off the dribble with 26 seconds left in the game, and ran back on defense to swat James Harden’s would-be game-tying layup off the glass. In these last moments of the game, Kawhi Leonard reminded everyone that he is not playing around. Leonard made this on-court case in about 10 seconds during the 112-110 win against the Houston Rockets on March 6th. In the first half, Leonard had watched as fellow MVP candidate James Harden lit up the Spurs, only for Leonard to respond with an even more convincing final 24 minutes. After the game, Kahwi said “I’m just playing basketball, trying to make my team the best team right now,” Kawhi is a very humble person and doesn’t tend to boast about what he does on the court, bur his teammates will, “I was in complete awe,” Manu Ginobili said. “I couldn’t believe what he did. It was an incredible last few plays.”
In my opinion, there is not question to who this year’s MVP will be, and I hope that more people will see as I do.
Tim Duncan is a retired professional basketball player who played his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs. Widely considered to be the greatest power forwards of all time, he is a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Rookie of the Year. He is also a 15-time NBA All-Star and the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams in all of his first 13 seasons. Tim Duncan had a very notable career, but I want to focus on his last years in the NBA. On November 14, 2014, Duncan scored his 25,000th point in the first half of the Spurs’ 93–80 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, becoming the 19th player in NBA history to reach the milestone. On November 2, 2015, in a win over the New York Knicks, Duncan recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in his NBA-record 954th victory with one team, surpassing John Stockton’s 953 wins with the Utah Jazz.On February 27, in a win over the Houston Rockets, he became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 3,000 blocks. On March 10, Duncan became the sixth player in league history with 15,000 rebounds. On April 5, in a win over the Utah Jazz, he became the third player with 1,000 victories in the regular season. On June 28, 2016, Duncan opted into his $5.6 million contracts for the 2016–17 season. However, on July 11, 2016, he announced his retirement from the NBA after 19 seasons with San Antonio. Tim Duncan had an incredible career in the NBA and set a lot of personal achievements in his last couple of years in the NBA. He is one of my all-time favorite players and is an inspiration to many.
Kawhi Leonard is a member of the San Antonio Spurs, and one of the teams most prominent players. He is a 2x NBA All star, and 2x defensive player of the year. Leonard was also the NBA finals MVP of 2014. Kawhi Leonard attended Canyon Springs High School, before transferring to MLK High School. After a successful high school run Leonard went to San Diego State University. At SDSU he helped lead the Aztecs to back to back conference tournament championships. after 2 seasons at Sand Diego State Kawhi entered the 2011 NBA Draft. Kawhi Leonard was the 15th pick of the 1st round by the Indiana Pacers, but was traded that night to the Spurs, where he haw remained to this day. In 2013 Kawhi made his first finals appearance against the Miami Heat, where Leonard averaged 14.6 points, and 11.1 rebounds. The Heat won the best of 7. Kawhi got another chance against the Miami Heat the following year in 2014, where he averaged 17.8 points on 61% shooting and was named NBA Finals MVP, being the third youngest to win the award. The next two seasons Kawhi was back to back Defensive player of the year. In 2016 Kawhi was named a starter for the Western conference team in the 2016 NBA All-Star game. Today Kahwi leads his team by putting up 20-20 ppg.
In the 1997 NBA Draft, Tim Duncan was selected by the Spurs as the first pick of that year’s Draft. A few years later in the 1999 draft Manu Ginobili was the Spurs second round pick. And again in 2001 Tony Parker was the Spurs 1st round pick. Little did Coach Pop know that these three players would go on to win 4 championships together. “The Big Three” was the trio of basketball players who played together for Spurs from 2002-2016. Each player of the Big Three was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs and played their entire NBA careers with the San Antonio Spurs. The Big Three won four NBA Championships during their time together in San Antonio, in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2014. In what would end up being their last season together, the “Big Three” led the Spurs to a franchise-best 67-15 record and would earn the #2 seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs ended up sweeping the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, but would lose a six-game series to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference semifinals. On July 11, 2016, Tim Duncan announced that he would retire from the NBA after a 19-year career, thus ending the “Big Three”. These three players are my some of my favorite players on the team, and have changed the face of the San Antonio Spurs forever.