The Athletic Gaslights Spurs Fans with Strange Murray Assessment

San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray
San Antonio Spurs Dejounte Murray / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs have many important issues to address and strides to make this season. Apparently, one thing they need to do more of, however, is campaign -- at least according to Zach Harper of The Athletic.

Despite the Spurs being all over social media every day since All-Star voting began asking fans to vote for their guys, the lack of attention Dejounte Murray is getting nationally still falls on them, implied Harper in his latest NBA power rankings (subscription required).

Ranking San Antonio 22nd overall with their 14-21 record at the time, Harper offers up a paragraph full of compliments to the Spurs' rising star guard. "The player Murray has turned himself into is impressive," says Harper. "I will not leave the 'Dejounte Murray needs consideration as an All-Star reserve hype train.' "

All would've been fine and dandy if it ended there, but Harper ends his blurb on the Spurs with a little bit of gaslighting.

"Murray should be in the mix for All-Star reserve and Most Improved Player," he says. "The Spurs need to find a way to get his name out there a lot more."

Yes, you read that right. The Spurs themselves aren't doing enough to get their point guard more national exposure. It's not the fact that they were scheduled for exactly one nationally televised game across ABC, ESPN, and TNT all season. This after being scheduled for zero in the 2020-21 season.

Just for fun, I looked at The Athletic's main and NBA Twitter accounts to tally how many times the Spurs were mentioned in their tweets versus a higher profile team, the Los Angeles Lakers. To the surprise of no one, the Lakers were mentioned 30 times in two weeks to just six for the Spurs. Let's take that a couple of steps further.

Spurs Fans Know Better By Now

At this point, I totally understand it. I got over the small market complex a long time ago, even though it probably doesn't sound like it. But to say the Spurs have any sort of control over the attention their star player gets is laughable.

Have we all learned nothing from DeMar DeRozan's All-Star snub last season and national media suddenly calling for him to be an MVP this season? Some in the media even thought he's been struggling so badly that he deserves the Most Improved Player Award this season. Granted, he deserves that consideration for MVP this season, but the overall point still stands.

I've maintained that the only way Murray will make the NBA All-Star Game this year is through coaching and player votes since he's not as popular among the big markets, and I still believe that. But I can attest personally that the effort by the Spurs' social teams and fans to still vote for Dejounte has been loud and proud.

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We all know the Spurs aren't popular nationally, but don't make it seem like the team itself has any say in the matter.