The San Antonio Spurs have seen little to no national coverage since their last playoff appearance four years ago. One could argue this prolonged media drought began almost instantaneously after the front office shipped a disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors in a blockbuster trade during the 2018 offseason. Fear not, Spurs fans, that trend is about to be bucked.
There are plenty of reasons—one stands seven feet and three inches tall—that the Spurs will be back in headlines before the ball drops in game one of the upcoming NBA season. As you can see from the tweet above, the latest domino has just fallen: ESPN is moving Andrew Lopez, their lead New Orleans Pelicans reporter, to Texas to cover Wembymania.
It has been forever since San Antonio had a journalist from a national outlet as a full-time resident. Tim McMahon is the only reporter who comes close to fitting that description, but he splits his time covering several Western Conference teams for ESPN. You could likely count on one hand how many trips he's made to the 2-1-0 since 2019. And you might need two hands if you count the number of articles McMahon has written about the Spurs over that timeframe.
The Spurs becoming an afterthought in national media coverage is the fault of no one in particular. San Antonio is a small market team, and tuning into their games has been a brutal experience for anyone who isn't a diehard fan. The city is not known for its extravagant travel attractions, and Frost Bank Center is in a less than convenient location for visiting media.
Regardless, with Victor Wembanyama in town, everything is about to change for the Spurs. Lopez becoming a San Antonian is only one example of a phenomenon that should continue for a long time. The Silver and Black will be on national television 19 times this season, and that number might very well be the lowest total this organization sees for the next decade.
All this newfound attention should bring plenty of positives for the Spurs, including a boost to the local economy. There will also be some drawbacks, and too much media engagement might be a distraction, especially in the eyes of a no-nonsense coach like Gregg Popovich. However, the spotlight is coming whether San Antonio is ready or not. Exciting times are ahead!