Spurs connection continues with GM Dell Demps

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Over the past six years as a fellow member of the Southwest Division, the New Orleans Hornets have gone 5-19 in the regular season against the San Antonio Spurs. That doesn’t include a 2008 Western Conference semifinals series pitting the two clubs, which was won by the Spurs in seven games. Over that same timeframe of 2004-2010, the Spurs have captured two NBA championships, while the Hornets have won a total of one playoff series.

Although New Orleans’ recent organizational changes do not reflect some master plan to do so, with the addition of Dell Demps as general manager, the Hornets have now hired three former Spurs employees to fill key roles since June. If you can’t beat ’em, get them to work for you? Demps, a former Spurs player and front-office member, joins Monty Williams (named head coach June 7) and James Borrego (named assistant coach June 30) as one-time members of San Antonio’s ultra-successful organization who now call New Orleans home.

Demps and Williams were teammates on the 1995-96 Spurs, with each in the early stages of their professional playing careers at the time. They were both used sparingly on that 58-victory, division-winning title club, combining to appear in a total of 33 regular season games. Williams and Borrego worked together during the 2004-05 season, when Williams was brought on by the Spurs and Gregg Popovich as a coaching intern. San Antonio won the third of its four recent NBA championships that year. Meanwhile, Demps and Borrego were Spurs co-workers for the past five seasons.

In a pure coincidence, Demps also continues another recent trend of the Hornets bringing in California natives to the franchise. The 40-year-old Demps hails from Long Beach, while 2010 NBA Draft acquisitions Craig Brackins and Quincy Pondexter are natives of the California locations Palmdale and Fresno, respectively.