San Antonio Spurs: An old message from Tony Parker that could motivate team in Orlando
By Josh Wilson
San Antonio Spurs legend Tony Parker was often on the money
The San Antonio Spurs will prepare to travel to Orlando to resume their season in late July. A young team currently in position to miss the postseason for the first time since 1997, the Spurs have a lot of work to do if they want to move up enough to qualify for the playoffs.
A new era has officially started in San Antonio. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and the many role players around that core for several years have all moved on. Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich is the constant, now leading a team of youngsters in Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and Derrick White.
Things are different in San Antonio. The inner workings of a young developing team positioned to compete deep in the playoffs in a few years are there.
First, the Spurs must compete this year. And making the postseason would be a huge help for this young core and their development. There will need to be fight and determination, and Tony Parker‘s words from 2015 might be exactly what the team needs to hear.
Tony Parker’s old blog post is a message the Spurs need to hear
Following back-to-back losses to the Clippers (119-115) and Warriors (110-99) Tony Parker penned a post on his blog titled “We Screwed Up” in 2015.
The Spurs at this point had good positioning in the playoff race and were looking to advance in the standings. Still with some time to go, Parker talked about how important these games were.
Translated via Google Translate from French, here’s what Parker said after those two losses:
“Facing the Clippers we had the match in hand. We screwed up. We didn’t get the shots right at the end. It’s a shame to waste opportunities like that, especially since we have a lot of work to do in the standings to go up. Facing Golden State, I found us tired, with little energy. They had a very big game. It is like this year. The teams always give their all against us. They always play their best game because they want to beat the champion.”
It’s an incredible amount of transparency and accountability.
Later in his blog post, Parker detailed the injury that had been bugging him and how important it was for him to be at 100 percent:
“I feel a little better with my hamstring. I hope it will leave me alone so that I can finally be 100% for the end of the season. Every game is important. We still have four away games before a good home series in March. If we manage these away games well, we can hope to go up to 4th place.”
As one can feel in his message, the need to move up in the standings was important for Parker and the Spurs. Winning games was their sole goal. Gaining advantageous seeding is a prescient message for the Spurs who are currently four games behind the eighth position in the Western Conference.
The Spurs had won a title the year before and would make it to the Finals in this year only to lose to the Miami Heat. The Spurs had a winning mentality, a championship mentality, even though they fell short.
There were no excuses from Parker, even with a tweaked hamstring. The mission was the goal.
Parker took these two losses personally. There should be secondary goals for the Spurs in Orlando to make the most out of the trip, but with only eight games in Orlando to establish seeding, the young Spurs are going to have to take every loss personally and carry out brief celebrations.