After sustaining excellence for this long, the least that San Antonio Spurs fans could do is give the team the benefit of the doubt this offseason.
Before I get pegged as a San Antonio Spurs stan who thinks they could do no wrong, I need to make something clear: This organization deserves its fair share of criticism. The awkward roster construction, it’s handling of the Kawhi saga and a mismanagement of the rotation for most of the 2019-20 NBA season are all valid complaints. I’d also be understanding of your frustration if the team fails to meet expectations with the NBA Draft and free agency.
For most Spurs fans, this offseason is the most crucial in years. The trade market is scorching with big names and San Antonio hasn’t been attached to any of it. But who’s to say they won’t be more involved in the NBA Draft tonight on Wednesday, November 18, 2020? Who’s to say they won’t make a trade once free-agency kicks off or after teams have gone big-name hunting and struck out in a barren market.
The San Antonio Spurs could stand pat once more this season and quite frankly, there’s nothing the fans can do about it. If any fanbase should stand by and put faith in the leadership of their team, it’s this one. This season was quite literally the first time the Spurs missed the playoffs in my entire life. Having spent every moment of my existence with a team in the postseason is maybe the most extravagant luxury a sports fan can have. Now, we have to see how the other side lives for a while.
Every team needs to rebuild at some point. Careers come and go, players walk, lives change and the world goes on — Patience is essential to get through this. Like myself, you’re probably not used to watching your team on the sidelines like they are now. People don’t respect the Spurs organization like they used to and at every chance, you defend them to friends, peers, or randoms on social media but these days, you’re probably questioning why you’re so faithful.
It’s because you haven’t been let down this far and quite frankly, you probably won’t be let down for much longer. Being a San Antonio Spurs fan in the 21st century means all you know is excellence; a privilege that most sports-minded people could never fathom. No matter what comes next, don’t be afraid to keep rooting for your favorite team. They could end up drafting Leandro Bolmaro at 11 tomorrow and the only reasonable question to ask is ‘What did the San Antonio Spurs see that I didn’t?’
Trust their decision-making until you have a good reason not to. However, they just missed the playoffs three months ago as the world collapsed around them. San Antonio could run it back with the same team next year, give or take a few tweaks, and would remain highly competitive in many games.
Or, they could end up with a top pick in a loaded 2021 NBA Draft class after a season developing younger players. That doesn’t sound bad to me.