RC Buford Rumors
Popovich has always been in frequent communication with his point guard, but said Parker’s knowledge of the system and understanding of his limitations have helped him remain integral despite less offensive production. The 34-year-old Parker has taken it more upon himself to speak up, to get his teammates where they need to be, to feed Leonard and Aldridge when they have obvious mismatches and to, as Popovich said, “understand when we’re in mud and need something different.” “I’ve said it many times: As long as Pop is happy, and the Spurs are happy with what I’m doing, that’s all I care about,” Parker told The Vertical. “I can’t control what people are going to think. Or what they think I should do, because I’m not going to let my ego be above the team. The team is the most important, and for me, if I have to defer or be less aggressive to make sure Kawhi keeps going and LaMarcus be who is, I will do it. I never cared about my numbers.”
“[There are] a lot of talented teams in the NBA, but not everybody can sustain it for 15, 20 years. [There’s] a reason for that, though. Because everybody is so unselfish and nobody lets their ego be above the team,” Parker told The Vertical. “I think it’s unbelievable, through David, Timmy, Manu, me, then Kawhi, LaMarcus. It starts with the top. R.C., Coach Pop, the way they carry themselves, it’s all about the team. That’s what we want to do. “I always say I’m very blessed. Sixteen years, still playing in the league, still doing what I’m doing and be the starting point guard for a great organization, that’s a blessing for me.”
Power forward Carlos Boozer didn’t play in the NBA last season but contacted the Spurs last spring and told them he wanted back in. Buford suggested he play in San Antonio’s June minicamp, but Boozer declined. “Then he was going to come for a piece of our summer league, but then he said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to do that, either,'” Buford says. “So we moved on. How can we evaluate him if he’s not playing?” Boozer ended up signing with the Guangdong Tigers in China on July 30.
Spurs’ general manager RC Buford echoed those sentiments during an interview with a handful of reporters Wednesday. “Whatever he decides it will be,” Buford said. “I think he’s learning about life after playing. He can impact us in so many ways. I think we need to sit back and get a better understanding of how he feels like he wants to fit in, and what works for his family, and then we’ll figure it out from there. The gym feels better when he’s in it.” Duncan spent his entire 19-season career with the Spurs, leading them to five NBA championships. Buford said when Duncan decided to retire, he had a private conversation with Popovich. “You tried to prepare for it, and you tried to be ready to transition, but you never wanted to hear those words,” Buford said.
Voigt’s big break came in 1999 when the San Antonio Spurs offered him a job as a video coordinator. It’s not the sort of job a 23-year-old with so little basketball experience typically lands, but the Spurs have never been afraid to take a chance on someone from a non-traditional background. Plus, Weltman vouched for Voigt to Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and Pomona alums Gregg Popovich and Mike Budenholzer also received rave reviews from folks at their alma mater. “He was young and he was cheap,” Buford joked. “When he was with us, he had a really good relationship with our players. He was able to connect with people. He wasn’t afraid to take a different path and he was very ambitious.”
General manager “R.C [Buford] and coach [Gregg] Popovich put a lot of time and energy to give David a visual of how much they wanted him and would use him,” Bartelstein told The Vertical. “A lot of people talk about taking less money, and not many people do it, so the Spurs get a lot of credit for selling David on joining their organization.”