On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Jabari Young of The Athletic. They discuss Jabari’s move to The Athletic, the new-look San Antonio Spurs, what it’s like not having any of the Big Three (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker) around, DeMar DeRozan‘s adjustment, how much longer Gregg Popovich will coach, who has stepped up as a leader and more. Time-stamps are below!
1:40: Jabari discusses his transition from the San Antonio Express-News to The Athletic and shares his initial impressions of The Athletic.
6:30: How has Jabari’s coverage changed now that he’s writing for a digital outlet as opposed to working as a newspaper beat writer?
14:45: The San Antonio Spurs are notoriously guarded when it comes to the media – from the front office to Pop to the players. How difficult is to cover that franchise day-to-day?
22:10: Jabari was at the first game of this Spurs new era without any of the Big Three of Duncan, Ginobili or Parker. He discusses the vibe and how the players are dealing with it.
25:35: How has DeMar DeRozan adjusted to San Antonio after being traded in the offseason and how does he fit with this team?
30:30: Jabari covered the Spurs-Timberwolves shootaround and game, so he shares his observations from that day and discusses the dynamic between Jimmy Butler and his teammates on and off the court.
34:35: Jabari talks about the Kawhi Leonard situation, why he wanted out and how the Spurs handled the entire saga.
42:45: How much longer will Gregg Popovich coach this team? What’s the plan and does Pop have a successor in mind?
54:05: Looking at this year’s Spurs team, what is their ceiling? If all goes right, how good can they be?
56:50: Even though Duncan and Ginobili are retired and don’t have an official title with the Spurs, they are around the team quite a bit. Jabari shares their role and how they are helping players (but also how it doesn’t quite have the same impact when they aren’t on the team).
1:01:05: With so many new players, which players have emerged as leaders for the Spurs this year? (Jabari calls out LaMarcus Aldridge for not stepping up and embracing more of a leadership role).