With adults, Spurs don’t need rules

LOS ANGELES – If you draft, sign and employ adults, you short-circuit a lot of potential problems in pro sports. That’s the approach taken by the San Antonio Spurs, as coach Gregg Popovich reminded reporters Friday.

Asked about his team’s “rules” regarding card games and minor gambling between players on team flights – a recipe for trouble that reared its head again this season when Memphis’ Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo had an ugly altercation over an unpaid debt – Popovich scoffed at the notion.

Not at in-flight fisticuffs. At the idea of such rules.

“We have basically no rules,” said Popovich, coach of the West All-Stars Sunday. “If I gave my team rules, they’d be offended. For the last 15 years, they’ve conducted themselves in an exemplary manner, and I wouldn’t humiliate them by making them believe I had to give them rules like they were children.”


  1. Steve says:

    With the utmost respect to the Spurs organization for their achievements over the past12 or so years… Didn’t one of their guards have some indiscretions with a then teammates wife, and leading to an internationally broadcast divorce?
    Just saying they might not be as squeaky clean as all the previous posts have been made to sound.

  2. Jawo says:

    Good guys finish last.

    • Dogma says:

      …and if they bad guys win on occasion, guess what? no one cares … just like nobody cares what a fool has to say, but the fool. Sorry but that is a fact. People around the league frequently talk about how great the Spurs players/organization have been over the years… NO one talks about some obscure win by any other NBA team. Who won the NBA title 3 years ago? or 12 years ago? You couldn’t name most of the winners without looking it up. Think about that.

  3. Alex says:

    that’s my spurs, baby! ya gotta love ’em!

  4. dennis says:

    First of all, I believe everything starts with the coach. TIM was and always will be one of the best at his position. Even coming out of college he could have been a demanding young man. POP went to him before the season and laid everything out. TIM bought into it and has been rewarded handsomely. Tony was a 19 yr old kid that grew up under POP. He is a finals mvp and a true superstar. Manu was considered of the beat ever to play in the European leagues and has won everywhere he played. George and DeJuan have tattoos and have come from very bad places and have done wonders in the community and throughout their hometowns. To say the spurs don’t have issues like everyone shows a first rate organization, not luck. Look at their players which have included Steve Smith, Robert Sorry, Dennis Rodman, and Stephen Jackson just to name a few and notice where the spurs have been. They have enjoyed winning seasons for a long time with very few distractions. Excellent job by the staff and players to be the class of the NBA.

  5. LEbron and friend says:

    Spurs are the po’s. ya ya

  6. Rene says:

    The last time a city gave a parade for having a team that was professional was 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007….hmm

  7. Zzanzabar says:

    “If you draft, sign and employ adults, you short-circuit a lot of potential problems in pro sports.” Harder said than done, yeah if you are willing to forgo the latest ‘phenom’ and chose the solid older player rather than super gifted young one then you will end up with the Spurs. Usually the gifted players come with a lot of baggage which teams are willing to accept. The Kevin Durants are few and far between.

    Professionalism goes BOTH ways. Is it professional to pay a kid who is barely legal MILLIONS of dollars for their first year? What job will take a professionally untested neophyte and pay him top money 1st day on the job. I ask any of you if you were given TOP money on your FIRST job, how would that have changed your behavior? If you think I’m making excuses, I’m really not, but there are mitigating circumstances involved.

    As for the fans they really don’t care what type of team they have as long as they are capable of winning a championship every once and a while. Of all the top teams in the NBA the Spurs have not only been competitive on a high level year after year, but they have been VISUALLY (few tattoos) and EMOTIONALLY (fewer public scrapes) a ‘squeaky clean’ sports franchise (by owner design, I think), but when was the last time a city gave a parade for having a team that was PROFESSIONAL?

    • John says:

      well kinda funny… last time a citty gave a parade to a professional team was back in 1999. Oh, and it happened again in 2003… and yet again in 2005…. ah oh! yes! in 2007 again!. So? Do you even have a point there?

    • andy says:

      well, they’re not getting “TOP” money on their “FIRST’ job, now are they? the slotted rookie scale ensures that the top college stars get less than they otherwise might in a true bidding war, and do we really want to get into whether top college basketball players are really students? you could say the same thing for congressmen, vault100 lawyers, management consultants, and mba students. ok, maybe not the best pool of examples.

      i agree that it’s rare to find stars who are upstanding people, but if your organization values it, you will find them. that’s not to say all spurs are saints either. tony obviously had a misstep with his marraige, but with institutional integrity and the stability of the spurs, it’s been a non-issue, whereas even for another minor market, dysfunctional team like the wizards or jailblazers would crumble.

      real spurs fans shower the team with praise and admiration for the way they conduct themselves. a parade isn’t required.

  8. Shellshock915 says:

    Well said man true pros some of todays players attitudes are exactly like my 15 year old brother last time i checked a working job and name on a check meant i was a big boy now

  9. Jake says:

    Gotta love the Spurs. They’re the paradigm of professionalism.

    • Yellow Bass says:

      That’s what we lack a lot of in today’s game — adults who are professionals. The Spurs may or may not be NBA champions on any given season, but they’re adults and professionals 24/7.