Underrated 2022 departure still haunts Spurs heading into 2024

Recent Spurs offensive struggles for the San Antonio Spurs highlight a staffing misstep going back over a year.
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages

Chip Engelland's departure from the San Antonio Spurs in 2022 continues to cast a shadow over the team, especially evident in the struggles of their young players from beyond the arc. Engelland, renowned for his elite shooting coaching, played a pivotal role in honing the shooting skills of Spurs' players over the years. The absence of his expertise has left a void, notably affecting the team's shooting efficiency, a facet where they're notably faltering this season.

The poor shooting displayed by the Spurs' young prospects stands out as a prominent area of concern. Without Engelland's guidance, the development curve for these players appears steeper. Their struggles from long range have been evident, impacting the team's overall offensive output and causing setbacks in crucial moments. Zach Collins would greatly benefit from the shooting guru's guidance.

Chip Engelland would have been perfect for Victor Wembanyama

The departure of Engelland is felt keenly concerning the potential impact on emerging talent like Victor Wembanyama. Engelland's coaching prowess could have significantly contributed to Wembanyama's efficiency and effectiveness on the court. His absence deprives the young prospect of the specialized guidance necessary to refine his shooting mechanics and elevate his game to the next level.

It's worth noting that Engelland's exit stemmed from an inability to reach a contract agreement with the team, a regrettable circumstance that has had lasting repercussions. After such an impactful tenure, that deal needed to get done. His departure underscores the importance of elite coaching and highlights its far-reaching implications for a team's performance.

As the Spurs grapple with shooting woes and seek to harness the potential of their young talent, the absence of Chip Engelland's expertise continues to reverberate, emphasizing the irreplaceable impact of a top-tier shooting coach on a team's success.