The San Antonio Spurs have tried to discuss their lapses and shortcomings — things that seem to be common but should not be tolerated for a rebuilding group.
Indeed after the 115-90 victory by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday, the young and talented squad didn’t hesitate to address each and everyone.
Joining the media on Monday ahead of San Antonio’s duel against Phoenix Suns, forward Thad Young revealed that the Spurs, because “tired of getting their butts whooped,” quickly engaged into a players-only meeting after head coach Gregg Popovich delivered a post-game speech in the locker room on the said game.
“We took that butt whooping and we went back into the locker room and we talked for 20, 30 minutes, the whole team. Everyone voiced their issues and their points,” the veteran said to reporters.
The veteran claimed that the turning point of the conversation was how Devin Vassell stood up and encouraged his other teammates to land their constructive criticisms.
“Dev stepped up and took the floor, which is great for a young guy,” Young said. “He basically said, ‘Come on. Let’s try to figure this thing out. Let’s talk about it. Let’s put everything out there on the table.
“That’s what you want from young guys. I could do it, but at the end of the day, you want these younger guys to start stepping up. He did a really good job of orchestrating it and getting guys to start speaking.”
Young, on his part, further emphasized to the group that they need increased trust and “heart” to advance.
“We have to play for one another. We still don’t fully trust each other sometimes out there on the court defensively.
“When everybody starts to feel the same way about it hitting their hearts, and it starts to weight heavy on their hearts, that’s when we are going to have some change,” he said while tapping his chest.”
The Spurs are currently 4-11 this season, and this record is the second worst in the 15-game starting stretch of franchise’ history. They’ve lost five out of their last six games — losing four straight and three of them were decided by 14 points or higher.
“This situation is tough because of how we are losing games,” Young said. “We are kicking ourselves in the butt by having mental lapses or having a bad quarter, those types of things. Having misreads on the defensive side of the basketball. Missed opportunities on plays coming out of timeouts.”
Still, the 15th-year cager has high hopes that this 2021-2022 campaign will turn into a fruitful one.
“The biggest thing is that we keep going out there and keep playing hard and keep putting forth the effort,” he said. “The Minnesota game, we didn’t put out the effort we should have put out. Coach told us that coming into the locker room that we got our butts kicked and stuff like that.”