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San Antonio Spurs news gathered from around the net.

Spurs Sign Derrick Byars

The San Antonio Spurs have signed Bakersfield Jam guard/forward Derrick Byars.

In 25 regular season games, 22 starts, with the Jam, Byars (6-7, 220, Vanderbilt) averaged 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 32.2 minutes.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Spurs Recall Cory Joseph From Toros

The San Antonio Spurs have recalled Cory Joseph from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Joseph, a 6-3 guard, has been assigned to Austin three times this season, most recently on March 20. Since then he has helped lead the Toros to the D-League Finals. In the playoffs, Joseph is averaging 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.29 steals in 34.3 minutes through seven games.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Popovich: Leonard 'More Gifted' Than Bowen

Gregg Popovich initially underestimated Kawhi Leonard’s offensive versatility.

"His offense is better than I thought it was. I short-changed him in my mind to start and in my head I was going to try to turn him into Bruce Bowen," Popovich said. "That was his role and it still is."

Leonard has the potential to make a similar defensive impact. But unlike Bowen, Leonard also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish in the paint.

"Kawhi guards the toughest perimeter player on the other team. He's got great length. A great body. Has an inclination to do it. He enjoys the role. He's more gifted than Bruce, skillwise," Popovich said. "Once we figured that out we opened up for him and he worked very hard on his shot, especially his three-point shot. (Assistant coach) Chip England has spent a lot of time with him on that so he's got confidence. He lets it fly. He's not Chris Mullin yet but we don't mind when he takes his open threes."

Leonard is shooting 49 percent on corner three-pointers.


Rivers Draws Players Vote As Favorite Coach

Doc Rivers is the coach NBA players most want to play for, Sports Illustrated revealed Wednesday.

The magazine polled 134 players, asking them “Which coach would you like to play for the most?” and 22 percent responded Rivers.

Mike D’Antoni came in second with 21 percent.

Gregg Popovich finished third with 16 percent, followed by Rick Carlisle at 6 percent and Rick Adelman at 5 percent.

Via SI.com

Popovich Likens Ginobili's Competitive Drive To That Of Jordan, Kobe

Gregg Popovich succinctly summed up Manu Ginobili’s importance to the Spurs.

"No Manu, no championships," Popovich said.

Popovich likened Ginobili’s competitive edge to that of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

"He has the same love of winning and maniacal approach to competitiveness," Popovich said. "It's the same as Michael and Kobe have.

"He doesn't have the same athletic ability. But he has the same spirit and competitiveness that they do. He has a high basketball IQ like they do in the sense that it could be an offensive board, a 3-point shot, a drive, a steal, an assist to win a basketball game.

"He knows what it takes. If you combine that IQ and that competitiveness, he's a special person."

Ginobili, 34, is the only active player to have won a Euroleague title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA championship.

Via Yahoo! Sports

Dwayne Schintzius Passes Away At 43

Dwayne Schintzius passed away on Sunday at the age of 43.

Schintzius died of complications from leukemia.

Schintzius, who played collegiately at Florida, was the first round pick of the Spurs in 1990.

Via San Antonio Express-News

Kawhi Leonard Powering Through Rookie Wall

Kawhi Leonard has scored in double-figures just once over his previous nine games, breaking out for 14 points in 105-91 victory over the Suns on Saturday night.

“I’ve been fatigued coming into a lot of games, but I’m learning from a great group of guys,” Leonard said. “They tell me just to keep pushing, play as hard as you can and work on your health, take care of your body and stay with the trainers, and you’ll be fine.

“I feel fine now. I have plenty of energy, and I’m excited for the playoffs. I’m just trying to get better every game as the season comes down to these last few (games).”

Via San Antonio Express-News

Mike Brown Still Seeks Advice From Popovich

Mike Brown continues to seek advice from Gregg Popovich.

Brown served as an assistant coach under Popovich with the Spurs from 2000 until 2003.

“Times get tough at certain times for me,” Brown said. “He’s probably the guy that I reach out to more than anybody else, and he knows me well enough to where if I haven’t reached out to him, I’ll see I got a phone call from him or a text from him. He’s been great for me — and not just for me, but for my entire family.”

Popovich is eager to assist Brown as long as it isn't directly related to the matchup between the Lakers and Spurs.

“He still helps me out,” Brown said. “He’s just a real human being. He knows people very well, and that’s probably his strongest strength. He’s a terrific, terrific people manager. He helps me in a lot of ways, not only on the floor but off the floor in my personal life.”

Via Kevin Ding/Orange County Register

Splitter's Health Has Allowed Spurs To Rest Duncan

Tiago Splitter has been healthy this season and his presence has allowed Gregg Popovich to limit Tim Duncan to a career-low 28.4 minutes per game.

Splitter missed 22 games and averaged just 12.3 minutes per game for the Spurs last season as a rookie.

“Getting Tiago Splitter back in health this year has helped,” Popovich said. “We didn't really have him last year, so he's like an addition to the team.”

“I knew this season was important for me, not just because we had to rest Tim, but also because when (Antonio) McDyess decided to retire, I knew I would have to play more and would be more important to the team," said Splitter.

“Of course, I knew that in a short season like this, with all the games, four in five nights and things like that, that Tim would need to rest a couple of days, and I would play a little more.”

Via Mike Monroe/San Antonio Express-News

Diaw Still In Adjustment Phase With Spurs

Boris Diaw is averaging 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds over 20 minutes per game since joining the Spurs.

"Everything is going very well," said Diaw. "I'm still in the adjustment period, which is perfectly normal. I need some time to learn all the systems as there are a whole lot (smile). I take my bearings gradually with my new teammates constantly observing how they move in order to best integrate the philosophy of team play. Knowing that the group is well oiled, I must blend in. I have to learn to play with my teammates, my teammates but also must learn to play with me."

Diaw is happy being with the Spurs.

"I am very happy to be with one of the best teams in the league. The big difference between the Bobcats and Spurs is the fact that these two teams are not aimed at all the same goals. In Charlotte, the goal of the season was to try to fight to hold on eighth place in the playoffs. In San Antonio, it's another world. The sole objective of the franchise is to fight for the title."

Via Jeff Garcia/Project Spurs

San Antonio Spurs Archives

Ferry Could Be Candidate For Wizards

Danny Ferry has been mentioned as a candidate to replace Ernie Grunfled in the front office of the Wizards.
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