After all, Devin Vassell had already experienced a snub of his own recently, being left off the NBA Rising Stars team consisting of 12 standout players currently in their second year. And that came after the Spurs had their lone national TV game replaced by the New York Knicks, who proceeded to get blown out while San Antonio and Memphis played down to the wire.
This kind of treatment goes back even further, as I wrote about almost a year ago. Last year alone, the Spurs received zero national TV games, the NBA didn't give any annual Latin Nights to the city with the largest Hispanic majority in the U.S., and DeMar DeRozan was left off the NBA All-Star team initially and as a replacement.
While Commissioner Adam Silver may not have been solely responsible for some of these oversights, he's the one who chooses All-Star replacements and decided to give the spot to Mike Conley, who was averaging 16.2, 5.6, and 3.5, over DeRozan (20.3, 7.3, 4.7).
On Monday, he finally did right by San Antonio in selecting Murray, who's averaging nearly a triple-double for the season.
Although the Spurs have a fairly poor record, that fact hasn't stopped selections of guys like Brandon Ingram and Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in the past. Any argument against this replacement choice becomes less valid when you consider it's happened plenty of times before.
While I don't expect it to happen overnight, I'm hoping the selection of Murray as an NBA All-Star will help the Spurs at least get some semblance of attention back onto them. It's understandable not to showcase them nationally very often considering their inconsistency, but the league almost completely disregarding them is another story.
Ultimately, the only thing the Spurs can do to help themselves be recognized going forward is to win. A high lottery pick in the upcoming draft should help with both team performance and drawing intrigue from viewers, but it'll still be up to the NBA to give San Antonio a real chance to be seen.
Silver redeemed himself at least partially for now by not opting for a more appealing choice who's hardly played like Anthony Davis or a rising star beginning his ascension like Anthony Edwards. Murray might very well be the key to this team's future, and it's good to see him being recognized for what he's done.