Rudy Gay sat down with former NFL safety Darius Butler to discuss his NBA career, his future with the San Antonio Spurs, and the rise of Keldon Johnson.
Entering his 15th year in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay has now taken on the role of a veteran locker room presence on the team. While he’s been in the league since 2006, his recent play on the Orlando campus showed he still has plenty of value in the league, whether in the Alamo City or not.
With the NBA season now officially set to tip-off on December 22nd, Rudy Gay has been preparing to build on a stretch of Orlando bubble games that saw him play some of the best basketball of his career.
Joining The Man to Man Pod with hosts Darius Butler and Antoine Bethea, Gay answered questions about his rise in the NBA, his future with the San Antonio Spurs, life in the bubble, and more. Despite shooting 46.8 percent and averaging 17.9 points per game off the bench in Orlando, Gay made it clear he wouldn’t want to return to a bubble environment for the 2020-21 season.
“The bubble was tough,” said Gay. “Just being confined to one hotel room for two months. After a bad game, you want to go home, play with your kids, and forget about it. You can’t. You’re just sitting there dwelling on it. I’m not trying to go back to that.”
Rudy Gay’s future with the San Antonio Spurs
The attention then turned to the upcoming season and Gay’s future with the Spurs, with his answer being fairly open-ended. “I’ve been a part of this league and I know the business of it, so I know whatever happens happens, said Rudy. “I love being a Spur, love playing for the Spurs.”
With one year left on his contract, Gay could draw some enticing offers from other teams looking to add a veteran scorer to round out their rosters. With that being the case, Rudy’s answer shows he knows business is business, and that the Spurs would rightly field calls on his services if it helped the future of the team.
Rudy Gay talks Keldon Johnson
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With Rudy Gay now being one of the elder statesmen on the team, Bethea asked him about which young players have caught his eye.
“I think Keldon Johnson‘s going to be really good,” Gay responded. “He was in the [G] League all year. He played up with us in the bubble and he could be really good.”
Johnson didn’t get much of a chance to show what he was made of until the Orlando restart, but once there, he showed plenty of glimpses of his potential. The 6-5 forward set and broke career-highs in scoring three separate times in the final eight games, including 15, 20, and 24-point outings.
With an even balance of veteran leadership in guys like Rudy Gay combined with some youthful talent like Johnson, the Spurs are in an interesting offseason position with next season less than two months away.
The best is yet to come.