Gregg Popovich has been a model of consistency for the Spurs, a model which the Warriors should emulate. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors Can Learn A Lot From The San Antonio Spurs

Everybody is aware of how altruistic the entire San Antonio Spurs organization is.

It starts at the top with Peter Holt, who unlike Golden State Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob, lets his management staff do his job. Lacob is known for being intrusive and very plugged in to every minuscule detail of the Warriors. After a practice in early October, Lacob reportedly asked Andre Iguodala why he was struggling. Iguodala answered by saying he was a little hurt, but that it was also pre-season kinks. Everyone and their blind grandmother remembers seeing Lacob get booed at half-court during Chris Mullin’s retirement ceremony.

Although he has owned the team for less than five seasons, Lacob is one of the league’s most well-known owners. Holt, on the other hand, has owned the team for more than 20 years and is one of the league’s most unknown. The only time we hear from Holt is after the Spurs win championships.

Holt lets the general manager and coach do their jobs. Steve Kerr is the Warriors’ 12th head coach since Gregg Popovich took over the in 1996-1997. Buford has been with the organization for more than 15 years as well. Popovich relinquished powering 2002, promotoing R.C. Buford. Mark Jackson and the rest of organization fired assistants that they spared with.

Here is a little known fact about Popovich: Pop was actually an assistant under Don Nelson in 1992; he was fired the previous season after being an assistant to Larry “Next Town” Brown. Pop, though, returned to the organization and when the Spurs got off to a slow 3-15 start in 1996-1997 under coach Bob Hill. Pop, the then GM, promoted himself to head coach in a move that is truly Flip Saunders-esque.

The Spurs organization is the model of consistency. They seldom make changes and are fully aware that while the NBA is a results-driven league, rash decisions should not be made necessarily just because of wins and losses. One argument for keeping Jackson was that even with Andrew Bogut in the playoffs, the Warriors had a lead with three minutes to go in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Clippers in L.A. Had the Warriors players executed a wee bit better in those final three minutes, maybe Jackson keeps his job and Steve Kerr becomes the next head coach of the Knicks.

Between 2007-2008 and 2010-20011, the Spurs lost in the first round twice. In 2008-2009 the Spurs team looked old and slow, falling to the Dallas Mavericks in five games. In 2010-2011, they fell in six to a bigger and more physical Memphis Grizzlies team. In both cases it looked like the Spurs dynasty might be finished, but they stayed the course.

Maybe the Warriors should try staying the course. We shall see five years from now if Steve Kerr is still around to see the end of his first contract. If the Warriors franchise history has any say, he probably won’t be.

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