Spurs are flagrantly ignored in ESPN’s preseason player rankings


Spurs supporters should be accustomed at this stage to their team being ignored by the national media. Even though San Antonio is one of the top 10 largest cities in the United States, it is a tiny market by NBA standards, which disadvantages our players during All-Star selection and awards season. I highlighted this phenomena in an article I wrote on Devin Vassell back in August.

The most recent [Most Improved Player] award that Spur received was from Alvin Robertson in 1986, the honor’s first year.

A History of disrespect of the San Antonio Spurs

Players wearing the Silver and Black were not included in the discussion during award season, even at the height of the Spurs Dynasty. Coach Gregg Popovich, the most successful head coach in NBA history and a man regarded as the finest to ever play the game, has only received three Coach of the Year honours. Players like DeMar DeRozan have recently been left out of All-Star debates while playing in South America. only to put up comparable figures in multiple locales without being given MVP consideration.

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Dejounte Murray was forced to make his first All-Star squad as a substitute for the injured Draymond Green last season; he nearly averaged a triple-double while leading the league in steals! Even though the Spurs have won five championships in the previous 25 years, it often feels like there aren’t many “bandwagon” fans, which is admittedly entertaining. There are Warriors fans everywhere, and Steph Curry and the team have won four games in the interim.

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What’s less entertaining, though, is when significant lists are made public before to the start of the new NBA season and it’s clear that no consideration was given to San Antonio. This is the case with the most recent edition of ESPN’s NBArank, a feature that identifies the top 100 players in the league according to a “expert” panel. Players numbered 100 through 26 were made available today; the next three releases will be on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

NBArank’s recent disregard of the Spurs

San Antonio won’t have any players in the top 100 with no players included in the 75 players announced today. Fans of the Spurs shouldn’t be shocked that their team was ignored once more after what I’ve explained. Whatever the case, I’ll still say it: it stinks a lot even if we should be used to it. The squad is indeed at its worst point in 30 years. Yes, the Spurs are beginning their reconstruction. Yes, San Antonio lacks a player ranked in the top 60 or 70 in the league. No top 100, though?

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Jakob Poeltl and Keldon Johnson ought to get insults. For example, Mitchell Robinson of the Knicks is not a better centre than Poeltl, although he is ranked at 98. It is blasphemy to rank Grant Williams (99) and Brandon Clarke (94) above Keldon. Ask Cavaliers guard-forward Caris Levert, who is ranked 80th, what he does better than Keldon Johnson. I mean no offence to the athletes mentioned, but I’m furious for the decent folks!

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In light of everything said, I sincerely hope KJ and Big Jak see this list and utilise it as inspiration to do well this season. I hope younger players like Devin Vassell and Joshua Primo, who weren’t necessarily left off this year, see the list and declare, “I’m going to be on that next offseason.” I also hope Jeremy Sochan, a fellow rookie power forward, looks at Keegan Murray at number 95 and asks, “What has that guy done that I haven’t? ”

Unfortunately, I have a sneaking sense that we will have a similar discussion the next off-season.