The Spurs have officially announced that they have renamed their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs. The team was formerly known as the Austin Toros. “The rebranding of the Austin franchise is a terrific opportunity to capitalize on the substantial equity of the Spurs brand,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment President of Business Operations, Rick Pych. “The name change creates an instantly recognizable link between the two franchises and is a natural progression based on the important role the Austin team plays in the development of young players, general managers and coaches who are on their way to reaching their dream of making it to the NBA.”
Here’s more from the “Lone Star” state:
- Akil Mitchell and Robert Covington have not been with the Rockets for several days, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. It was previously noted that Houston intended to part ways with Convington, and was exploring possible trade options for the player. Feigen also speculates that Houston intends to send both Covington and Mitchell to their D-League affiliate. Teams can retain the D-League rights for up to four players that they waive, and the Rockets preseason roster count currently sits at 20.
- Joey Dorsey is still working his way back from foot and ankle issues that have caused him to miss extended time during Houston’s training camp, Feigen writes. “I have just been trying to figure out the guys on the team and not look for my shot,” Dorsey said. “One of the coaches told me, ‘Joey, just go out there and play. Do what you do. Do what you did in Europe.’ I was like, ‘OK, forget it. I am going to look to score. If I look to score and they double-team me, then I will kick it out for a shot.’ That is the biggest thing. He told me to just go out there and stop trying to worry about playing perfect and just go out and play.”
- Despite their sustained run of excellence, one thing the Spurs have never accomplished is winning back-to-back titles. Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) breaks down San Antonio’s anticipated regular season roster as the team sets out to defend its crown.
- The Spurs have remained contenders for so many years thanks to their ability as a franchise to turn players no one anticipated into stars, such as Kawhi Leonard, opines Kevin Spain of USA Today.