San Antonio Spurs: R.C. Buford’s decision ushering in new era

SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMEBR 18: R.C. Buford, Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMEBR 18: R.C. Buford, Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili /

The San Antonio Spurs will be shaking up the top of their organization for the first time in a long time as they will replace R.C. Buford with a new general manager.

The San Antonio Spurs have been the model of consistency for all of the NBA to emulate as Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford have led this dynastic run lasting over two decades.

However, the Buford-Popovich window is coming to a close sooner or later.

Luckily, the Spurs were able to sign Pop to a three-year extension this summer but it looks like Buford’s days as the general manager are over.

According to The Athletic’s Jabari Young, R.C. Buford is expected to transition into a new role to oversee all of Spurs Sports & Entertainment while current assistant general manager Brian Wright will be promoted to Buford’s GM job.

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Buford’s days with the Spurs date all the way back to 1988 when he was an assistant coach on Larry Brown‘s staff.

After following Brown to the L.A. Clippers and then spending a year at the University of Florida, R.C. returned to San Antonio as the Spurs’ head scout on Gregg Popovich’s staff and he has been with the organization ever since.

Buford worked his way up to the Director of Scouting position in 1997 before being promoted to the vice president/assistant general manager job and eventually becoming the Spurs’ general manager a little more than 15 years ago.

San Antonio has won five championships with R.C. in the fold, including four titles during his time as general manager.

Buford has long been known as one of the great grinders in the NBA traveling all over the world to scout and find the best talent for the Spurs to build their roster around. That was evidenced this past season as he was in Europe watching Luka Samanic play more than any other executive in the league.

I’d expect the day-to-day grind to be a bit less taxing in Buford’s new role as he nears 60 years of age, but we don’t know exactly what that job will entail at the moment.

R.C.’s fingerprints of dedication and intensity are all over the Larry O’Brien trophies that shine in San Antonio, and his contributions on the basketball side will be missed even if he still has some ties to basketball operations in his new role.

Buford will leave the job to Brian Wright, and the Spurs should remain in good hands as Wright has learned from the best during his time in San Antonio.

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While it will be difficult to transition into this new era of Spurs basketball, San Antonio has the organizational structure to succeed even after those who built this dynasty have moved on.