Wednesday, June 30, 2010

That Just Happened

Reigning Black

Yes, Ricky Bobby. ... That, just happened.

After asking aloud to myself if the Spurs were going to be any kind of a player in free-agency earlier today, it would only seem fitting that Richard Jefferson would decide to opt out of a 15.2 million-dollar contract. Suffice it to say, I saw this coming a mile away -- and if you believe that I'd love to sell you your next... anything, really.

Whether this turns out to be a great move on Jefferson's behalf or as poor of a decision as it would seem -- opting out of a final year that would've paid him around two-times his current worth -- is neither here nor there as it pertains to a Spurs fan. So rather than get bogged down in the inconsequential, I think it'd be wise to address what this means. What exactly are the implications and ramifications for the Spurs?

How much money does this save the Spurs?

Had Jefferson exercised his option, the Spurs were looking to be in the neighborhood of $10 million over the luxury tax. Meaning they'd be paying two dollars for every one dollar over the threshold. So with him opting out, the Spurs are likely to now spend up to the threshold without exceeding it. With Jefferson's decision to opt out, Peter Holt's bottom line just improved by $25 million, should the Spurs stay under the tax -- the Spurs were $10 million over the tax, which translates to $20 million (double on every dollar over), and the Spurs would now be in line to collect $5 million in luxury-tax distribution in July, 2011 by simply being under the threshold.

Could Jefferson be re-signed? If so, is it possible that $32-40 million is a better bargain than $15.2 million?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Parker: One More Year (?)

Reigning Black

Thanks to L'Equipe (credit: Sonic21 and Bruno of SpursTalk) we were given some insight into where things stand in regards to Parker's status with the team.

A few thoughts after reading the translated interview:

One More Year.

Coach Pop and Tony have apparently talked and Parker's been made to believe he will not be traded. There were legitimate inquiries into a trade -- with New York and Portland being the major players -- but the Spurs weren't comfortable with the packages and have left them on the table. The Spurs believe they've got one more go of it with the Big Three and that keeping them together for one more year is the most prudent thing to do.

For a Spurs fan, this is the best news possible, all things considered. The likelihood of the Spurs moving Parker for a package that would have made them better in the short-term -- the championship window short-term -- were all but nil. Even if this group's ceiling is seemingly another second-round exit with nothing more than the addition of Splitter, Anderson and a possible low-level vet and/or a LLE-type player, you've got to give it a shot -- Duncan's career is winding to a close, Ginobili's not getting any younger and you can't throw away the opportunity to win a championship when it's in your midst (however small that opportunity it is).

Friday, June 25, 2010

The (15-Million Dollar) Situation - Part 1

Reigning Black

For the past 20 years the small forward position has been a vital component for the San Antonio Spurs success. From Sean Elliott to Bruce Bowen, the Spurs have been fortunate having a versatile and reliable defender manning the small forward position. Luckily enough, these two players were also automatic riflemen from the perimeter (most specifically the short- corner 3) as David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker all garnered Wendy Peffercorn-like attention year after year; consequently leaving these two lethal unguarded snipers locked, loaded and ready to fire. Elliott and Bowen's ability to hit their mark enhanced the team's overall efficiency and resulted in a well-oiled offensive machine throughout their successful Spurs tenure.

Unfortunately, as the baton was relayed to Richard Jefferson a year ago, he wasn't the replacement part the Spurs thought they traded in for; which didn't allow the Spurs to shift into fifth-gear and cruise through the regular-season and playoffs to meet their lofty expectations.

When the Spurs acquired Jefferson they thought they had found a decent enough part. Jefferson was coming off a career year in Milwaukee where he shot an astounding 40-percent from the three in a whopping 292 attempts. So when that part didn't manage to fire correctly and allow the rest of the machine to thrive, the Spurs organization and fans alike were left scratching their collective heads.

At the same time, most analysts believed Jefferson's athletic ability would translate well on the defensive end, especially under the tutelage of one of the best defensive coaches in the game. This wasn't the case due to the kind of athlete Jefferson is: a straight-line athlete with significant leaping ability who lacks in the agility and lateral quickness found in the typical defensive stalwart. So after the disappointing year, many questions need to be addressed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reigning Black

Reigning Black

It's been a long time coming . . .

The road to Reigning Black was long, winding and anything but predictable. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth -- it's been an interesting journey that's led us to this destination.
But that was then, this is now and... here... we... go!

We're (Eric Salinas and Nick Kapsis) embarking on an endeavor to document, report, analyze and discuss all things San Antonio Spurs and the NBA. Life-long Spurs and NBA fans, our goal is to bring a passion we've cultivated for over 20-years to the fore and to have it put forth in a fashion that is both informative and entertaining.

We're die-hard basketball junkies, Hemingway we ain't.

Born and bred South Texas boys, we were blessed with the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time: David Robinson arrived; Tim Duncan came a decade later; a Big 3 blossomed; and what ensued was a Black Reign of NBA dominance spanning more than a decade.

The San Antonio Spurs aren't new to success, they've been doing it for years. And for the last 20-years they've been one of the preeminent franchises in all of sports, boasting a .700 winning-percentage, reaching 7 conference-finals and going 4-0 in Finals appearances. In 20 seasons they've managed to miss the playoffs once.

As in one.


That's 19-1, folks; truly a testament to their professionalism, basketball acumen and penchant for hard work -- successful longevity in the NBA or any professional sport are all but synonymous with such qualities. Our basketball fandom just happened to coincide with the Golden Age of our hometown's team. Again, right place... right time. `Basketball been very good to me (us),' as the freshly painted spirit of Sammy Sosa is channeled.

But this blog's name was borne from one fateful day in June, 1997:

And the rest, as they say...