Spurs news and notes: Lakers struggles, Splitter the spokesman, and more


• The San Antonio Spurs Western Conference rival Los Angeles Lakers seem to struggle against the elite in the NBA which includes the Spurs:

They are 0-2 against the top three teams in the West other than themselves, losing against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

“We’re not playing very well against these top teams,” said Kobe Bryant after scoring 41 points in the losing effort against Boston. “So we need to elevate our level and we need to get better, if we’re to defend our throne.”

At 33-15, the Lakers trail the Spurs by 7½ games for the No. 1 seed in the West. Los Angeles has the fifth best record overall, behind San Antonio, Boston, Chicago and Miami. (source espn.com)

• Express News’ Tim Griffin reports on how ESPN’s “The Sports Reportersdiscussed the Spurs.

• Spurs’ Tiago Splitter will be the new pitch-man for Ford:

Northside Ford has hired Splitter to be its first celebrity spokesperson.

Splitter, who was named MVP of the Spanish League last season while playing for Caja Laboral Vitoria, will appear in a series of television commercials for the San Antonio auto dealership. (source bizjournals.com)

• Former Spur Michael Pitts was honored as his jersey number 44 was retired:

As Sweetwater’s basketball program looks to move forward this season, current players got a taste of past Red Devils success on Saturday night. At halftime of the Red Devils’ 62-53 loss against Morse, the school retired the No. 44 jersey of Michael Pitts, the 1979 CIF Player of the Year.

Pitts played collegiately at California and was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1984 NBA Draft. He tried out for the Spurs twice unsuccessfully before playing in France and Spain for three years. (source sandiegoreader.com)

• According to the Star-Telegram, The Texas Rangers took time to visit a San Antonio hospital but the Spurs are quite difficult to make a visit:

Stop No. 2: Audie L. Murphy Memorial Hospital (Hunter, Hawkins, Loux, Nadel) The four toured the veteran’s hospital, walking in rooms and visiting patients. There is a mural with the Rangers logo on the wall, and the team was lauded for making the trip, with an official saying they can’t even get the San Antonio Spurs to visit the San Antonio hospital.

• Former Spurs center Christian Welp will be inducted into the Olympic High School Hall of Fame – his high school Alma Mater.