20 Second Timeout: Bill Schoening Blog-January 14

Bill Schoening's :20 Timeout

Follow the team all season long with the 20-Second Timeout blog by Bill Schoening, The Radio Voice of the Spurs for the past 13 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 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | April 12 | May 12 | October 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14

Roger Mason Jr. - Class Guy
by Bill Schoening | Jan. 27, 2014

Roger Mason Jr.
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

There are certain players that have come through San Antonio in recent years that evoke fond memories, not necessarily from their exploits on the court, but because of their class and character and the matter with which they conduct themselves.

Miami Heat guard Roger Mason Jr. is one of those guys. Mason signed a free agent deal with the Spurs in July of '08 and played two seasons with the Silver and Black, , averaging 9 ppg while shooting 41% from 3 point range.

One of the things I remember about Mason was his easy going nature, always generous with his time for media and fans.

Mason is also extremely bright, having earned his degree in Architecture from the Univ. of Virginia. I visited with Roger in Miami this week, and he has fond memories of his stay in the Alamo City.

"Overall, it was a great experience", says Mason, "The teammates I had with the Spurs I will always consider friends. I learned a ton of basketball from Coach Pop, Brett Brown, and Coach Bud (Mike Budenholzer). It doesn't surprise me at all that Brett and Bud are now head coaches. Coach Pop always has heady assistants who are more than capable of heading their own programs."

Mason now backs up two future Hall of Famers in Miami (Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen) and his playing career may not last too much longer, but don't worry about Roger Mason Jr. With his smarts, varied interests, and positive attitude, he will have no problem adjusting to life after basketball.

Barry Admires Spurs' Consistency
by Bill Schoening | Jan. 22, 2014

Bruce Bowen
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

ESPN and ABC analyst Jon Barry played 14 seasons in the NBA for nine different teams. One team for which he never suited up was the San Antonio Spurs. Barry admits it is a hole in his resume.

"Yes, I regret the fact that I didn't play here in San Antonio", says Barry, "every time I look at my brother Brent's fingers and see those two rings."

Jon's younger brother was a key contributor to the '05 and '07 Spurs championship teams. The older Barry is amazed at the Spurs' long run of success.

"It's really pretty incredible what Pop (Head Coach Gregg Popovich) has done. He has been able to plug in different guys around the Big 3. It's a system and it really doesn't matter who he puts in there. There is no deviation. To me, Pop is one of the top 3 coaches that has ever coached in the NBA."

That's pretty high praise from the son of a Hall of Famer who admits that he is a bit jealous of his brother's good fortune. Brent, by the way, is doing just fine as a studio analyst and co-host on NBA TV.

Bruce Bowen - Spur for Life
by Bill Schoening | Jan. 15, 2014

Bruce Bowen
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

Prior to a recent home game, I got a chance to catch up with former Spur Bruce Bowen. Most of us remember Bowen from his 8 year stint in a Spurs uniform, as he supplied the stingy perimeter defense during the Spurs' championship runs of '03, '05, and '07.

Perhaps the most unlikely Spur to have his number retired (he never averaged more than 8.2 points per game), the onetime hoops journeyman is very appreciative of his time in San Antonio and still lives in the Alamo City. Now a studio analyst for ESPN, Bowen still brags on the Spurs whenever he gets the chance.

"It all starts with the core, the foundation", Bowen explained,"I now have an even deeper appreciation for Pop (Head Coach Greg Popovich) and what he's all about. He doesn't go after the big names, but instead finds guys that fit into his system. The Spurs continue to be near the top of the Western Conference because of their simplicity. Not everybody gets that. It may be vanilla, but you can elements to vanilla and make it special."

Its not a big shocker that Bowen is fond of the Spurs and the opportunity he was given in San Antonio. Bowen once toiled in the old CBA, where the $5 per diem would get a player a McDonald's hamburger, and maybe a milkshake. It was most likely vanilla.

Savor the Moments
by Bill Schoening | Jan. 8, 2014

Tim Duncan
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

In this hectic, fast paced world in which we live, I think sometimes we fail to appreciate what we have right in front of us.

I got to to thinking about that when I saw 37 year old Tim Duncan score 24 points and grab 17 rebounds and force his will in an overtime win at Memphis on Tuesday night.

Those numbers are impressive for any power forward, but the fact that he's been routinely doing this for 17 years is what sets him apart.

Fans should truly appreciate Duncan's consistency and longevity while he is still playing. Players like Duncan don't come around very often.

One of my earliest sports memories was my dad telling me he saw Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx play at old Shibe Park in Philadelphia in the late '20's . He somehow knew he was watching history. He would always remember that day.

Spurs fans will be telling their kids and grand kids that they got to see Tim Duncan wear the Silver and Black for his entire Hall of Fame career.

You should always remember as well.

Spurs Broadcasting-Good Guys
by Bill Schoening | Jan. 3, 2014

Bill Land and Sean Elliott
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

As we flipped the calendar to another new year, I got to thinking about how fortunate and blessed I am to be working with some of the best people I know in the Sports Broadcasting business.

I am in my 35th year of describing games on the radio (my 13th season with the Spurs) and I have seen my share of unnecessary and petty shenanigans along the way.

The competitive nature of this industry sometimes produces jealousy, backstabbing and gossip. I can honestly say those issues don't exist with Spurs Broadcasting.

Whether its Sean Elliott giving me a few minutes to get his insight for a pregame radio interview or me popping on the TV Show "Spurs Insider" to help out Bill Land, there is a spirit of kinship that exists with our group that makes the long hours on the road not only bearable, but enjoyable.

The Spurs director of Broadcasting, Mike Kickirillo, encourages each of us to promote the other's broadcasts, especially Publio Castro's calls of the games in Spanish on KCOR.

The standing inside joke is that the Spurs remain undefeated in Spanish! The spirit of teamwork exists not only on the court, but also in the radio booth, press row and in the TV truck. I am very proud to call these fellow broadcasters friends and colleagues.