Sean Elliott and Bill Land are back for their 13th season together broadcasting Spurs games. Locally, 73 Games will air on FOX Sports Southwest, KENS-TV and KMYS-TV, with Bill and Sean calling the action.
They sat down for a conversation with Spurs.com as the broadcast schedule was announced on Thursday.
Are you ready for another season?
Bill: I think I’m like most of the fans this year. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been to get back to basketball, particularly working with Sean. With 45 more days of offseason compared to the past three years and with the offseason changes, I think every Spurs fan is ready to get going.
Sean: I would say the same thing. Everybody always asks me if I’m ready to start the season, and I’ve got to say that this year I’m more excited than I’ve been in a long, long time. It’s going to be fun to watch how the new guys find their way and follow the journey. We get to see how they work together and see how the parts fit.
How do you see all the new players fitting in under coach Gregg Popovich?
Sean: It’s a playground for Pop right now. There are going to be some pressure situations and he’ll have to make some crucial decisions with a lineup that is loaded with players. For him, that’s going to be fun. He’ll get to mix and match, and he loves to keep it interesting.
While there are new additions with LaMarcus Aldridge and David West among others, the offseason was also highlighted by Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili returning for another season. Did you think they were coming back?
Sean: I was concerned. I didn’t know if Manu was going to come back, and I didn’t know about Timmy, either. Timmy has just played so well over the past few years, especially in the playoffs, and you want to go out on top. You want to go out leaving people wanting more. So that worried me, but I think he’ll go out on top whenever he retires.
When you’re bringing in new guys you want to keep that culture alive, and with a guy like Manu, he’s going to show them the right way to prepare and the right way to compete. When Manu’s there, the culture is contagious. I was ecstatic when they came back. I told Timmy I was glad to have my punching bag back for another season.
Bill: I’m sure he’s excited about that, too.
How will it be breaking down a new lineup?
Sean: It will be a lot more interesting to get to provide a scouting report on potentially five new players. I like Boban Marjanovic. I saw tape on him, and this guy fits right in to what we’re trying to do. He has size, finishes around the rim and blocks shots well. A guy like that could be huge for the Spurs when you have nights where Pop could rest Timmy and some of the older guys for him.
What was your first impression when you saw the team together?
Bill: I was impressed with everybody’s enthusiasm. Sean was talking about whether Tim or Manu were coming back, and what was amazing to me was how all of that was tied together. LaMarcus Aldridge maybe isn’t going to sign here if Tim isn’t coming back, and David West might not be here or Manu might not return if not for everyone else.
Everybody’s excited to be here together, and I think part of that excitement is in the unknown. They’re not quite sure how it will all fit together, and that makes the preseason more exciting, too.
Sean: If you go on recent history when teams have added big name free agents, it can take a little while for everything to fit together. But here, with the sense you have Pop and that all these guys are coming here to fill a role, it’s a different mindset. They’ve all said that they’re not coming here to be stars, and they’re coming to win a championship. So maybe that makes things come together a little quicker.
What can fans expect from the broadcast in 2015-16?
Sean: It’s going to be so much fun. I’m more excited than a lot of these fans, because I know what kind of potential this team has. It will be so much fun to watch them develop and grow, and to be able to call the games next to my man, Bill.
Bill: It’s going to be a blast. We’re so lucky to have our whole crew working the games, and we have this great organization and team to follow. To have the anticipation of this season, too, we’re just the luckiest guys in the world.