If you were on Spurs Twitter at all in the last week, you’ve probably heard about the “players-only meeting” that was held after the ugly loss to the Timberwolves on Thursday. Allegedly, the meeting was started and led by Devin Vassell. Clearly, the San Antonio Spurs are lucky to have a young guy with a veteran’s mentality on the team.
Or are they?
Being wiser than your years is always a good thing, especially in professional sports. But it does bring up the question, why did Vassell have to start the meeting? He’s 21 years old and is in his second NBA season.
He’s one of the Spurs’ most important assets, so it’s good to see him invested in the Spurs’ success, but it should be a slap in the face to everyone else on the team that Vassell, of all people, had to call the meeting.
Should a veteran Spur have stepped up?
Thaddeus Young and Doug McDermott have been in the league for a combined 24 seasons, both are over 30, and neither of them said anything? Bryn Forbes, NBA champion and veteran sharpshooter had nothing to say? Maybe he has no room to talk, but Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl couldn’t muster some words of inspiration?
Even Keldon Johnson has experience from this summer in Tokyo he could bring up, and Jock Landale played overseas for several seasons. None of them had anything to say? It fell to 21-year-old Vassell?
Spurs fans, myself included, felt cheated when Kawhi Leonard left because he was unhappy with the medical staff, or whatever generic excuse he had last before he was shipped off to Toronto. Devin Vassell has been touted as the next Kawhi based on his play, and the comparison seems to be spot on when you compare their early careers. That’s a double-edged sword, however.
If Vassell feels like he’s the only player committed to winning and playing hard all 48 minutes, there’s no reason for him to stay content on the bench. It says a lot that he had the guts to call a meeting, and it says a lot that no one else had the same courage. If the Spurs don’t pick it up or at least try to win some games, he might walk, and frankly, he’d be in the right to do so.
It's time for the vets and leaders to take responsibility. Having a 21-year-old do your job in the locker room for you is a bad sign, and a true rebuild or demolition might be inbound if that mentality continues.