Spurs news and notes: Coach of the decade, Barkley pokes fun at San Antonio, Hill and the dentist, and more

• ESPN discussed who is the best coach of the past decade. Here is an excerpt:

BUCHER: Two coaches have stood above the rest of the NBA during the past decade: The Lakers’ Phil Jackson and the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. There are coaches who have been impressive in various ways — the Jazz’s Jerry Sloan and the Celtics’ Doc Rivers immediately come to mind — but they are, at best, fighting for a distant third. The question is, who deserves to be considered the best? I’m going to go with the man they call Pop.

BROUSSARD: Obviously, Pop is a terrific coach, one of the best to do it. But my pick for coach of the past decade or so is Jackson. With five titles and seven NBA Finals appearances since 2000, he’s led two separate dynasties in one decade. Not only has Jackson been the best coach of the past 10 to 12 years, he’s been the best in NBA history.

• SI.com talks about the San Antonio Spurs and their aged players:

Of much deeper substance are the enduring efforts of the Spurs and Celtics to win one more before the lockout changes everything. Both rotations depend heavily on players in the final stages of their careers, whether it’s Shaquille O’Neal, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for Boston, or Antonio McDyess, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for San Antonio. Duncan and Garnett are indispensable to their teams, and they’ve been running NBA courts for 90,003 minutes between them.

• The Spurs’ rival, the Dallas Mavericks, have been free-falling since starting the season on the right foot:

At the season’s mid-point four of the league’s six divisions are yawn-fests. The Mavs’ three-week slide has added the Southwest Division to that category, decisively altering what was shaping up to be a classic race to 82 between two fierce rivals potentially for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Dallas’ 82-77 loss Thursday night at Chicago Bulls dropped it a season-high nine games behind the 36-6 San Antonio Spurs, who can extend the lead to 9 1/2 with a win tonight against the New York Knicks. That’s a daunting number of games to make up with 42 remaining. Less than a month ago when Dirk Nowitzki went down with a sprained knee on Dec. 27, the Mavs were 2 1/2 games back of the Spurs and had already won in San Antonio. (source espn.com)

• According to Dimemag.com, the Spurs suffer from the New England Patriots Theory:  

But the question remains: Why is no one talking about the Spurs? Is it possible for a teams’ lack of style and flair to outweigh everything else to the point where even SportsCenter refuses to acknowledge them?

I have a theory I’ve called The New England Patriots Theory.

Wait, I thought this was about basketball? The New England Patriots have been a football juggernaut this decade, winning three Super Bowls since 2002, more than any other franchise in the NFL. But sports fans are sick of the Pats.

• Express News’ Tim Griffin talks about DeJuan Blair hoping for an appearance by the Pittsburgh Steelers in this year’s Super Bowl.

• Los Angeles Lakers’ executive vice president Jennie Buss weighs in on Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich coaching the Western Conference All-Stars instead of Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson:

“I hate to say this, but I think because they decide who’s going to coach the All-Star team based on the standings on Jan. 30, so it looks like Gregg Popovich, the coach of San Antonio, is going to be the coach,” Buss said. “I kind of think Phil [Jackson] likes not being in first place so he can get the weekend off.” (source latimes.com)

• TNT’s Charles Barkley is at it again taking a shot at San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk:

“It’s just a dirty little creek.”

– TNT analyst Charles Barkley, taking aim at San Antonio’s fame “Riverwalk.” (source espn.com)

• Spurs’ guard George Hill spends the day at the dentist:

(video courtesy of woai.com)

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