Spurs news and notes: Jefferson on the Knicks, Pop’s beard, Lakers meltdown, and more

• Want to win a pair of free tickets to a San Antonio Spurs home game this month? Of course you do! All you have to do it follow @projectspurstiq on Twitter to enter. Easy huh?

• The Spurs will face the New York Knicks tomorrow and did Richard Jefferson give the Knicks some locker room material? Express News’ Tim Griffin reports on Jefferson and his thoughts on the resurgent Knicks:

“I don’t think so. I think it’s completely pointless,” Jefferson said.  “There are too many good players and teams. You look at how great it was for Cleveland having LeBron and what it did to that community and how important it was for them. You look at what is going on now in Miami. And what’s going to on now in Oklahoma City. So to take one city and make that more important to have it back there .. it’s great for whatever city gets the benefit … but I don’t think one city is more important than another.”

Jefferson said he gets more excited about playing in Madison Square Garden than against the Knicks.

“It’s more about the building,” Jefferson said. “Whether they are good or bad or awesome. They had some great teams for a bunch of years, but they haven’t won a championship since the 1970s. This is not the Boston Celtics team or like the Lakers franchise. What was the last time they won a championship? 1973?

“So to say basketball is back in New York, what does that even mean? They are a talented, talented team. They are on the upswing and have some great young players. They are on the upswing and have some great young players.”

• Spurs guard Manu Ginobili gives a time-lapse glimpse into the Spurs practice.

• Former Spurs player Dominique Wilkins reflects on his final seasons in the NBA and how he had to adjust his play on the court against younger players:

Wilkins had no choice when he finished his career with the San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic.

“I knew I couldn’t go all out against a guy, especially athletically,” Wilkins said. “I knew I had to become more of a basketball player, doing the fundamentals. When I had to do those explosion plays, I still had those reserves in the tank where I could do that.

“I had a game in San Antonio where we’re playing against Dale Davis and Antonio Davis [of the Indiana Pacers], where I had to play the four. I had to conserve my energy to box those big guys out. And I had [16] rebounds. And those guys were relentless on the glass. Maybe you had to sacrifice a little bit of your scoring. It depends on the situation and the player you’re going against.” (source espn.com)

• Yahoo! Sports gives praise to Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich’s beard:

The only coach on the list, Popovich may have as great of a career as any of the players. While some of the other players to be mentioned have had stellar careers, Popovich has built up a dynasty in San Antonio, and the 2010-11 season has definitely started off very well for the coach with 4 championship rings. More importantly (for this article’s sake at least) is Pop’s beard, which in its prime was the best beard for any NBA coach, with Phil Jackson being the only contender.

Love the Spurs or hate them, I think we can all agree that Gregg Popovich is one great coach and he can grow a heck of a beard.

• If you are like me then you must be loving the Los Angeles Lakers’ meltdown. They recently lost to the Memphis Grizzlies and now it seems they are in a tailspin. Check out these quotes coming from the Lakers and enjoy them Spurs fans:

“We get behind early on in the third quarter on some stupid plays — poor passing, poor transition defense — and then Kobe has to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one and that takes the rest of the guys out as a consequence,” Jackson said. “That didn’t bring us back in, but it did give us a little run, we got the game back a little bit but we couldn’t sustain it and we just went right back and made the same mistakes again.”

“We’re not really playing for each other right now,” Bynum said. “We’re not playing to set the next man up and consequently that’s definitely causing us problems on defense.”

“Right now we got to be concerned, we have to be … Good teams are looking at us like, ‘Oh, they’re soft.’ We’re letting everybody come in and get comfortable.”

The Staples Center crowd shared its disapproval, showering the court with loud boos during several breaks in play in the second half. There was even a scant “Re-Fund! Re-Fund!” chant in the fourth quarter.

“When we’re playing that bad we deserve to be booed,” Matt Barnes said. (source espn.com)

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