20 Second Timeout: Bill Schoening Blog

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 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 |
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It's a Roller Coaster Ride - Hang On!
by Bill Schoening | Oct 30, 2012

Sean Marks
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty)

Well, here we go again!  I can't express how pumped and excited I get this time of year, for it is the beginning of another Spurs season.  For me personally it begins my 12th season with the Silver and Black, and there is no place I would rather be than sitting courtside describing the exploits of this team.

It is sometimes easy to take the Spurs and their impressive consistency for granted, but all you have to do is look around the league and you'll see teams trying to emulate the Spurs' magic formula.  That's why former Spurs assistant coaches and front office personnel are sprinkled throughout the league. 

I have friends who often ask me what it's like to travel with a professional basketball team and to tag along for the 7 game preseason, 82 game regular season, and then the playoffs.  I often compare it to a rollercoster ride; there are usually some ups and downs, twists and turns, moments that are a bit scary and then times of sheer exhilaration.  When you are on a good ride (and the Spurs usually provide that) you don't want it to end.  So climb on board and strap yourself in...the fun is about to begin! 

Bienvenue Nando
by Bill Schoening | Oct. 23, 2012

Sean Marks
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty)

On a roster that is returning almost completely intact from last season, rookie guard Nando DeColo is doing his best to fit in with his new teammates.  That's easier said than done for someone who is working to improve his English, understand a different culture, and adapt his game and style of play to a team that has a history of success. 

"I work every day trying to get better with English", says the 25 year old newcomer.  "It helps having players from the French National team here (Boris Diaw and Tony Parker) and it also helps me that the Spurs play similar to a European style of basketball.  More teamwork and less one on one." 

DeColo spent three years in the ACB, the league based in Spain that is widely considered to be the best in Europe.  He averaged 13 points for Valencia, then joined Diaw and Parker as the trip represented France in the London Olympics. 

Although Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has downplayed DeColo's role on this season's squad because of the depth the Spurs enjoy in the backcourt, Nando has shown flashes of what he can do with creative passing, sharp ballhandling skills, and keen overall court vision.  DeColo would like to contribute, but also knows he is in a learning process. 

"I have worked very hard for the past three seasons to make it here, so now I listen to my coaches and teammates to get better", says DeColo, "I am very happy to be with the Spurs."  

Green Ready To Go After Busy Summer
by Bill Schoening | Oct. 16, 2012

Sean Marks
(Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE/Getty)

It was quite a summer for Spurs' guard Danny Green.  The first order of business was to re-sign with the Spurs, a team with which he truly blossomed last season.  Green also got to travel extensively, including a scenic trip to Spain.  Green was also honored to be selected to participate in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Program. 

"We had the top 50 European players there in Moscow and we got to coach and teach them, and we also got involved in some community activities and visited hosptials, worked with Special Olympic kids and visited an orphanage", says Green, who was pleasantly surprised by what he saw in Russia.  He added, "I never expected Moscow to be that nice of a city, but the city was great and we also had good weather."

As far as the upcoming season is concerned, Green is hoping the last two weeks of preseason are productive, "I'd like to see everybody fall into place they way we should, get into a rhythm, clicking and hitting shots.  Hopefully together as a group, collectively, we can pick up from where we were last year." 

After his breakthrough campaign a year ago, Green is hoping to build on last season's success. 

Changes Prompt New Roles for Former Players
by Bill Schoening | Oct. 10, 2012

Sean Marks
(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty)

It's certainly no big secret that organizations around the NBA covet the consistent success the Spurs have enjoyed for nearly two decades. That's one of the reasons each summer teams come calling, often courting Spurs' front office personnel and assistant coaches. This past offseason was no different. Assistant coach Jacque Vaughn was hired as head coach of the revamped Orlando Magic. Assistant Don Newman was lured away to the nation's capital, and is now the top assistant with the Wizards. Assistant GM Dennis Lindsey accepted the top spot with the Utah Jazz, and VP for Basketball Operations Danny Ferry was hired as the GM for the Atlanta Hawks.

The Spurs responded by hiring former Jazz and Knicks executive Scott Layden and shuffling some internal duties, as some familiar names will have new responsibilities. Former Spurs player Sean Marks, always popular with his coaches and teammates, is now director of basketball operations and general manager for the Austin Toros, the Spurs D League affiliate. Another former Spurs player, small forward Ime Udoka, was set to finish up his playing career in Spain, but says he couldn't resist an opportunity to come back to San Antonio and serve on Gregg Popovich's staff. Although it's not easy to part ways with such good basketball people as Vaughn, Newman, Lindsey and Ferry, the Spurs have always been able to replace quality with quality.