Anonymous GM: Our team isn’t good enough to win and we know it. So this season we want to develop and evaluate our young players, let them learn from their mistakes — and get us in position to grab a great player. The best way for us to do that is to lose a lot of games. This draft is loaded. There are potential All-Stars at the top, maybe even franchise changers. Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing. I know that sounds crazy, but if you’re an NBA general manager like me, the last place you want to be is in the middle. There are only two outcomes there: Either make the playoffs and be first-round fodder for one of the premier teams or miss the playoffs and pick somewhere around 11th to 14th in the draft. Either way, the odds are that you stay in that middle range. It’s a recipe for disaster.
October 18, 2017 | 8:37 pm EDT Update
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich explains here how he made the mistake of trying to change LaMarcus Aldridge as a player when the power forward first arrived in San Antonio: “I did talk with him several times during the summer. He just didn’t feel comfortable. It’s 98.75 percent on me, and whatever’s left – because I can’t subtract that much – on him. But I tried to change him. I thought back to when Timmy [Duncan] came, and people said, ‘What are you going to do with Tim Duncan?’ I said, ‘Nothing. I’m just going to watch him for about six months, see what he does. He’s a pretty good player, and if there’s something I think I can add, then I’ll do it.’ With LaMarcus, he got here and on Day 1, I said, ‘OK, you’re going to do this, and you’re going to do this pump fake.’ I tried to change him. I tried to make him a different player, and I think that really affected his ability to feel comfortable and confident on the court. And we took care of that, basically by me letting him know that we were going to do it differently, and that it was on me, not him.”