What to know about your 2022-2023 Spurs team

Maddie Cortez, Staff Writer

It was 2014; we had the big three — Manu Ginobli, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. They won several championship titles. Life was good. 

For a while, the Alamo City became cozy in their confidence of who was defending the Spurs’ name; however, that confidence has taken a hiatus due to the young, unknown and renovated Spurs team that now represents San Antonio. With fan uncertainty comes many questions: Which players do we keep an eye on? How do they plan to rebuild? How high or low is their potential? Here is what you need to know about the 2022 Spurs rebuild. 

Earlier this summer and for the first time in franchise history, coach Gregg Popovich welcomed three first-round picks, all 19 years of age. On top of that, 10 out of 17 players are 23 years old or younger. This youthful arrangement will require Coach Pop’s expertise and some pulled-in help. Brett Brown joined the coaching staff this offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers, and according to FanNation, his purpose will be to “[help] with youth development and [deal] with the lifestyle of being a coach on a losing team.” 

It was anticipated that the Spurs would not make it far, and Coach Popovich agreed. “Nobody here should go to Vegas with the thought of betting on us to win the championship,” he semi-joked. Furthermore, Popovich framed his approach for the season, and as expected, he is taking the fundamental approach. One could say that the five-time championship-winning coach prefers a fresh group. In the climate of the NBA, the “Gregg Popovich method” can be overlooked, especially with the media highlighting fancy, stylized plays. Coach Popovich’s coaching M.O. emphasizes basic, fundamental basketball. He wants ball movement, people movement and unselfish basketball. This method can be easily instilled with a roster full of newcomers, and so far, it is working. The silver and black have won five of seven games in the regular season. 

As previously mentioned, San Antonio welcomed three first-round draft picks — forward Jeremy Sochan, guard Malaki Branham, and guard Blake Wesley. Sochan is the Spurs’ highest draft pick since Tim Duncan in 1997. The 6-foot-9 power forward is part of the starting five this season and is anticipated to be a top defender for the team. The other starters include Keldon Johnson, Tre Jones, Josh Richardson, Jakob Poeltl and Devin Vassell if he was not out for injury. If there is any player you want to keep tabs on this season, Johnson would be your guy. He has been leading the team offensively by averaging 24 points per game and secured a season-high of 33 points against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 28. Undoubtedly, he will quickly fill an alpha role if he hasn’t already. The rest of the starters have infused stability and promise into the lineup’s essence. The players have the foundation for what is needed to generate effective plays, continue growth and become championship-bound once again. 

As much as the unique roster is a conversation piece, it should also be noted that this is the 50th season for the San Antonio Spurs. Many celebrations will follow this significant year, such as returning to the Alamodome to challenge the Golden State Warriors, traveling to play in Mexico City and Austin “to deepen the team’s regional fanbase,” and offering gifts for attendees at select games. There will be other events for themed game nights, like hosting a 2014 Championship Night. It goes without saying that the Spurs care for their fans and regardless of status, San Antonio loves their silver and black.