While Manu Ginobili is continuing his career with the Spurs this year, several of his longtime teammates are no longer around. Tim Duncan retired this offseason, Boris Diaw was traded to the Jazz, and Matt Bonner has not been re-signed by San Antonio. As Ginobili noted in an article for Argentinian newspaper La Nacion (link via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype), there has been a real adjustment period for the Spurs this fall without Duncan and others on the team.
“Making it to the locker room and seeing another person in [Duncan’s] place is, without a doubt, odd,” Ginobili said. “It’s been 15 years together; his presence brought a lot of different things. But I insist it’s going to be felt more during the course of the season.
“It also feels strange not having Boris and Matt, who were key too,” Ginobili continued. “Those are big absences. Boris’ is felt on and off the court. Matt’s more off the court because he played less. Those two players made me feel comfortable on a day-to-day basis and everything was enjoyable. I could talk with them about things not related to basketball. I’m going to miss them a lot from a personal standpoint.”
As Ginobili gets accustomed to the new-look Spurs, let’s round up a few other notes from out of San Antonio…
- Discussing his decision to sign with the Spurs, David Lee called it a “perfect fit,” expressing a desire to win a title in San Antonio, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. “[Gregg Popovich] called me in the middle of the summer and told me they’d love to have me,” Lee said. “We talked a little bit about the role he thought I’d have, and it sounded great.”
- Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders identifies Patty Mills as one of 20 players entering a contract year who are worth watching in 2016/17. With the salary cap on the rise, Mills may be in line for an eight-figure payday, Greene writes.
- LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs’ big free agent signing in the summer of 2015, is feeling much more comfortable heading into this season, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com. As Wright details, Aldridge is much more confident this year, no longer feeling like he has to defer to longtime Spurs like Duncan, Ginobili, and Tony Parker.