Spurs News

Follow the team all season long with the 20-Second Timeout blog by Bill Schoening, The Radio Voice of the Spurs for the past 10 years. Bill has over 30 years of play-by-play experience including broadcasting Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA. *Timeout Archive: October 10 | November 10 | December 10

Blair Pumped Up About the Steelers
by Bill Schoening | January 26, 2011

DeJuan Blair
(D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images)
Last Sunday the Spurs found themselves flying from New Orleans to Oakland on a 4 1/2 hour flight that was in direct conflict with the AFC and NFC championship football games being played that day. Traveling Spurs security chief Dave Birch rigged up a radio with speakers, connected them to an on board satellite antenna and those of us in the back of the plane got to hear Bears-Packers and Steelers-Jets. This was good news for forward Tim Duncan and athletic trainer Will Sevening, who are both big fans of the Bears.

The real fun started though during the second game when center DeJuan Blair paraded to the back of the plane proudly wearing his black and gold Steelers cap ready to pull for his hometown team as if he was at Heinz Field. Blair was soon pumping his fist, exhorting his team to punch it in...at one point he yelled at the refs, "That's a terrible call!".

Even though we were at 30,000 feet somewhere over Nevada, and couldn't see the game, DeJuan knew the Steelers didn't deserve a penalty. Blair's enthusiasm for his favorite team mirrored the energy we see from him on the court. With his youthful exuberance, Blair shows passion and loyalty, two attributes that should never be taken for granted.

Flying Under Radar Just Fine With Spurs
by Bill Schoening | January 20, 2011

Spurs Win
(D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images)
About a week ago, I was introduced to a gentleman who clearly was a huge Spurs fan. He took me aside to ask a very serious question, "Why do the Spurs not get the national attention they deserve?" he asked.

I hear this complaint often from the passionate fans that follow the Silver and Black. I will admit that I was perplexed one night earlier this month when I had to wait until the fifth NBA game recap on SportsCenter to see highlights of the team that leads the Western Conference.

Then I remembered the now famous quote of Gregg Popovich that rings true every season, "There's only one goal, and that's a championship."

If that is indeed the case, then the goal is not to have the best record halfway through the season, win the Southwest Division, or be the lead story on ESPN.

The Spurs don't get caught up in posturing, bragging, or trash talking. Third year guard George Hill showed even the young guys on this team are mature when he said, "What we have to do is stay focused and humble and keep improving". That doesn't like sound like a guy who is upset that the Spurs don't have their own little daily section of the USA Today like the Miami Heat.

The Spurs know that if they stay healthy and continue to get better, they will be in a position to contend for a title. If that happens, the national media will then have to pay attention. Unless, of course, Brett Favre decides to come out of retirement.

Elliott Popular As Ever
by Bill Schoening | January 11, 2011

Sean Elliott
(D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images)
Yes, he hit the Memorial Day Miracle shot that will live on forever in Spurs lore...and he faced kidney disease head on and beat it (with a timely assist from brother Noel) and his #32 proudly hangs in the rafters at the AT&T Center, but Sean Elliott is not one to live in the past, and he is as popular in San Antonio now as he was when he tiptoed the sideline and fired that three pointer over Rasheed Wallace nearly a dozen years ago.

After each Spurs home game, fans clamor to get a picture, a handshake or an autograph. Security guards have a difficult task because there are often more fans than Sean can accommodate. Sean laughs off the good-natured kidding of his broadcast colleagues (I believe the term "rock star" has been used a few times) but there is no denying the connection between Elliott and basketball fans in San Antonio.

His sometimes biased opinions about the Silver and Black might not make him popular in other NBA cities, but his knowledge of the game and timely sense of humor on Spurs TV resonate with his target audience.

Minneapolis Armory A Hidden Gem
by Bill Schoening | January 6, 2011

From time to time I like to look back into basketball's rich history, because I always learn something I didn't know before. I think it's important for all of us (especially the younger generation) to gain some insight into what went on years ago. One of my favorite songs by late folk singer Billy Scheid included the line, "You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you been".

On a recent trip to Minneapolis, I took a chilly walk through downtown. Snow flurries dotted a gray sky. Then an old building caught my eye. At first it looked like an abandoned high school. Upon closer observation I noticed "The Armory" engraved above one of the entrances. Could this be the onetime home of the Minneapolis Lakers before they headed to LA? I found an open door and walked in.

The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as an indoor parking garage, but there are some remaining clues that this was once the homecourt for the Lakers. The upper deck is still very much intact with concrete risers instead of individual seats. Steel girders dominate the rafters. Yes, during the 1950's this was an NBA arena and as I look around I can picture men in suits and ties smoking cigarettes and cheering for George Mikan and Slater Martin.

The NBA has come a long way since those days, but every once in awhile, it's nice to take a peek back into history and remember the way it used to be.