Spurs newsletter: Author Shea Serrano dishes on state of team, Kawhi-hate, SA fanbase; Why Pop is greatest ever

San Antonio native Shea Serrano shared his thoughts on the Spurs, Coach Popovich and the fanbase.
San Antonio native Shea Serrano shared his thoughts on the Spurs, Coach Popovich and the fanbase.

SAN ANTONIO – We’re switching gears a bit on this week’s KSAT.com Spurs newsletter. I recently interviewed San Antonio native, best-selling author, Ringer staff writer and unabashed Spurs fan Shea Serrano.

Part of our discussion focused on the current state of the team, which is 24-32 with 26 games left. Watch the video above, here or read the interview below to hear Shea dish on the Silver and Black.

Want to receive this free, weekly newsletter? Sign up here. If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, hit me up at rmarquez@ksat.com.

(San Antonio native and New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano. Image via Getty Images.) (Getty Images)

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Spurs?

SHEA: It’s not that much fun to be on the team that nobody is afraid of. For so long, that’s what we were. Other teams were scared when the Spurs would walk into their building or when they had to come down here, and you’ve got all these Mexicans in your ear screaming. That was the thing that they were afraid of and now we’re not that. Now we’re the team that they look past and it kind of sucks. But this is just part of it. I imagine in three or four years, we’ll be a threat again, maybe sooner than that, who knows. But this part of it, you’re like ugh. Let’s just get through it. We have to do this.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich watches from the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

What’s your take on Spurs fans voicing their displeasure on social media and questioning Gregg Popovich?

SHEA: I don’t think there’s anything that Pop could do that would make me question his decision making because he is literally the greatest basketball coach of all-time. He’s better than Phil (Jackson), he’s better than Red (Auerbach), better than Pat (Riley). He’s better than every single other person who’s ever coached basketball. That’s Gregg Popovich and he’s not going to suddenly not know how to coach.

I don’t feel like there is a reason to question anything that he’s done or he’s doing. It seems to me that he’s making the best decision at all times. But I do understand other people feeling that way, especially if you were not seriously watching the Spurs before Pop showed up.

You’re like dang, I remember playing in the Hemisfair Arena. If you grew up and all that you’ve known is that the best coach of all time was your coach, and your teams were always good, and your teams for a 15-year stretch were legitimate title contenders, and suddenly it’s not that, that’s got to be a weird whiplash and especially because it happened so fast. It happened over like a two-year stretch and you’re saying ‘whoa, whoa.’”

Los Angeles Clippers' Kawhi Leonard (2) is defended by San Antonio Spurs' DeMar DeRozan (10) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu) (Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Kawhi is still a sore subject here. Do you think the fans anger toward him should be over?

SHEA: Yeah, I think so. I think he did what he needed to do, which is he was in Toronto, he had a game in San Antonio. It would’ve been very easy for him to be just like ‘nah, you know what, it’s my legs again. My leg is acting up and I’m not going to play,’ but he didn’t. He came and he played, and we all got to boo him. That whole game, every time he touched the ball and the Spurs won. It was great.

What always stuck to me is after the game Pop was like, ‘Alright, that’s enough.’ Pop is in the center of all of that and if he says it’s enough, then it’s enough. I always thought it was funny people who are still mad about him and being like, ‘Oh, he didn’t handle it the way a Spur should have handled it.'

It’s like if there’s some invisible criteria that fans expect for Spurs players to adhere to or check off. But it’s two years later and you’re still complaining about it like, ’that’s not a Spurs thing. It’s now what we do.’ Stop doing it then.

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES:

(Images of Spurs contingent and Vanessa Bryant at Kobe and Gianna Bryant's memorial service on Monday in Los Angeles. Vanessa Bryant image via AP.) (KSAT)

Popovich, Spurs’ Big 3, DeRozan honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant at emotional memorial service

Spurs’ Rodeo Road Trip ends with blowout loss to Thunder

Murray leads balanced attack as Spurs top Jazz 113-104

OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: Spurs team up with DoSeum to unveil new interactive exhibit for kids. FULL STORY HERE!

(Spurs Pull Up Jumper Exhibit) (KSAT)

POWER RANKINGS PULSE:

ESPN.com: 17th...praised Dejounte’s recent play, but added his 0-point effort was ugly in loss to OKC

SI.com: 18th...says Dejounte should not take a backseat in offense

NBA.com: 19th...says Spurs playoffs outlook is not great, but they usually bounce back after Rodeo trip

SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:

Feb. 26: vs Dallas

Feb. 29: vs Orlando

March 2: vs Indiana

KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:

If the Spurs are going to make the playoffs, this is the week to finally get it in gear. They have three straight home games. Orlando is no doubt a must-win and they can not slip up against good Indiana and Dallas squads. According to Tankathon, the Spurs have the 24th easiest schedule remaining. It’s now or never.

The most interesting Spur in the world, or former Spurs player, is Manu Ginobili, with Boris Diaw a close second. What has Manu been up to? The Spurs legend is back to tweeting! Manu tweeted he’s back “after a short break enjoying the Southern Hemisphere summer vacation.” Former teammate and good friend Tiago Splitter also shared a pic of the two atop the Rockefeller Center in New York eight years ago. The Spurs finished that season 50-16. Those were the days. MANU. FOREVER.

(Image of Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter via Splitter's Twitter account.) (KSAT)

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About the Author:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.