Recently retired Rasho Nesterovic played with the San Antonio Spurs from 2003-2006 and during that time he experienced the unenviable task of replacing David Robinson and capturing an NBA title in 2005.
Rasho also made stops and enjoyed the highs and lows with the Pacers, Raptors, and the Timberwolves during his playing days in the NBA but when it comes to remembering his time in San Antonio, he has nothing but praise for the franchise.
“That three years in San Antonio, I am very proud and grateful for the opportunity to play with the Spurs and it was for sure one of the best experiences in NBA career. That time will always be close to me,” Nesterovic said.
And if you think his feelings would change when it comes to his surly former coach Gregg Popovich, think again.
“That system in San Antonio is a family system — coach Pop (Gregg Popovich) is there to make your job easier. Pop doesn’t work strictly as a coach, he’s like a father — the father of the family. You can talk to him about anything, just not basketball, and that gains him a lot of respect from the players.
“That’s what’s important, is that players respect their coach for how they treat each other not because a player is scared of a coach. Pop can be tough on you, but only because he wants to make you a better player.”
I’m sure all former and current Spurs players feel the same way towards Popovich despite the visage he puts in front of the media.
Regardless, Rasho shares the same view with all who have dealt with the Spurs organization. Words such as “family,” and “respect” have beed used to describe the Spurs.
Nesterovic averaged 8.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game in his first season with San Antonio. In his second season with the Spurs, he suffered an ankle injury, and was limited to 70 games. He was then traded to the Raptors for Matt Bonner, Erik Williams and a draft pick in 2006.
And with the Spurs still needing a big man next to Duncan, who knows if Rasho could fill that need if he was still playing. He averaged solid rebounding numbers and could have been the big body the Spurs have been searching for.