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January 17, 2023 42 mins

Home-grown Spur, Devin Brown, takes us inside his journey from UTSA to the NBA. Devin shares how he went from undrafted, to drafted #1 into the USBO (a 3-month league), to an NBA summer league roster, and then with the San Antonio Spurs during training camp. Devin explains how he received the nickname "Butcher", he shares how he got his first NBA opportunity after an injury occurred to Speedy Claxton, he talks about the 2005 finals, and playing with Manu Ginobili. Devin finishes up discussing his passion for coaching and the legacy of the Spurs.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:07):
Welcome to another edition of saladam Spurs Podcast presented by
h g B. This edition number ten and a very
very special guest, the only Spur to be a home
grown Spur, and we'll talk more about that with Devin
Brown uh Man Devon. There's so much to talk about
U and I don't even know where to begin, but
let's let's start at the very beginning. I didn't realize

(00:28):
this because I was looking up your bio that you
were actually born in Salt Lake City. Oh yeah, I was. Yeah, yeah,
a lot of people don't know that. Um I was.
I was. I was born in Utah. My mom was
up there, you know, working at Hill or Frost Base,
and moved down to San Antonio maybe when I was
about six or seven months old. So I've been to
San Antonio ever since then. So you don't remember Salt

(00:50):
Lake City except for the games. No, just no. The
first time I went back, um, I was asked for
about eighteen to twenty tickets. UM did not know any
of them left the tickets form at will call met
him after the game, played a decent game, had a
big dunk that game with San Antonio. Because I never

(01:13):
got a chance to play there in college. Yeah, we
didn't let me look back. No, we didn't have b
y U on this game. Now. Yeah, so with the
Spurs as my first time back, and met him after
the game, and all I could say was, well, nice
to meet you guys. And these were relatives of yours. Yeah,
on my dad's side of the family. And my dad
was in Denver for a little bit and uh but

(01:35):
but mainly he was in that Ogden Salt Lake City area.
So yeah, you know, lots of family on his side
that we're up there. Oh cool, Well let's start at
the beginning, because, uh, I think most people remember you
or first heard of you when you're West Campus High
School breaking all kinds of records at West Campus growing
up in San Antonio going to West Campus High School?

(01:58):
Were you a Spurs fan back then? And did you
get to go to games or watch games on TV? Yeah,
so it's it's that's that's very interesting, Um that you're
asking me that I was a Spurs fan. Um, my
sister actually was a ball girl if that makes sense,
ball boy, whatever you wanna call him. She did that

(02:19):
for the ninety nine season, and um, you remember that season,
you know that was the first sponship. So you know,
I was there in the finals, my mom and myself.
She'd leave us tickets and so we were a part
of that. Seeing the games, you know in the Alamo Dome.
I know that's a big deal coming up on Friday, UM,

(02:42):
and so I I you know, I did that in
high school. You know, your parents want you to get
a job, and I got a job, and one of
them was being a Spurs coordinator. I was one of
the coaches for the Santonio Spurs camp. So I spent
a lot of time, what four summers doing that. And uh,
we'll see all the players, you know coming in there.

(03:04):
I'm now now, Bill, I'm not calling anybody out, but
on occasions, some of the players were running a little behind.
I got confused on time. So at the camp, the
kids did not understand that, so as coaches, we had
to buy them time, you know, playing games like Knockout.

(03:26):
I worked with Neville Shed. Neville Shed has been with
that Spurs part of the organization for almost thirty years now.
He hired me as one of the coaches and UM
had a great time doing it. So I've always had
that Spurs connection. But we'll get into where it really
came in later. Well, I got a chance to do

(03:47):
some of your college games because when you were U. T.
S A. I was at the University of Texas, and
I know that the road Runner would come up and
played Longhorns. But you had quite a quite a career
at U T. S A. In fact, you recorded the
first triple double ever in history for the school in
a game against Northeast Louisiana or Louisiana Monroe, whatever they
were calling it back then. It's Louisiana Monroe. Now thirty

(04:08):
three points, eleven boards, eleven assists. Uh, And that was
on February sevent of old one. Uh. That was a big,
big breakout game for you. Of course you already had
been having a pretty good career. But what do you
remember about that triple double? Well, when you were just
talking about it, I was wondering where the third category
was gonna come from. I didn't know if it was
steals or blocks. But the fact that you said eleven assists,

(04:32):
I'll tell you. I'll tell you right now. We were
to call all my teammates from that roster. They probably
don't remember those eleven assists, No, not at all. When
I got to U T. S A. I let them
know as a freshman that I was not there to
make a whole lot of passes. I was there for
scoring and get us to the n C Double A tournament,

(04:53):
which I did one out of four times. So you
know that didn't go as well as I thought. But
you know, I lost a couple of champion We got
the championship every year, but I lost a couple of
them on some buzzer beaters. But that happens in March madness, right, absolutely.
And that was the Southland Conference back then, right because
the South exactly, the South changed conference affiliation several times

(05:16):
throughout the years, but during your period of time was
the Southland. Yeah, as the South Fland I went. Man,
I wish I'll tell you what the uh the I
I just wish that we would have been anywhere near
Conference USA. That would have been a lot of fun
for me. Um no football team back then, so we
were the biggest thing on campus. But you know, like

(05:37):
you said, um, you know, let's go back to that
that that remember one night against them, that was one
of our arrivals, you know when it came to college
and um, you know, so of to throw those kind
of numbers up. Those sound really good, thirty three, eleven
and eleven. Um, you know it meant a lot to
our team. And you know I'm joking about the whole

(05:58):
assist thing, but I'm telling you what I was walking
on campus there. You know, I got criticized a lot
for my teammates for not passing, but hey, we'll deal
with it, right. I remember doing a pregame interview with
Rick Barnes, the Texas coach at the time, and, uh,
you guys were coming up to play at Longhorns, and
he said, number one thing we gotta do is worry
about this Devin Brown guy. And I specifically remember that

(06:19):
because you were the Southland Conference freshman of the Year
and the three time conference player of the year. Uh.
You finished at U T. S A as the all
time leading scorer and you just mentioned the fact that
football wasn't around back then for U. T. S A.
So how has that campus, how has the athletic department
and that university changed over the last two decades since
you played? You know, I've gotten a chance to walk

(06:41):
to campus since they've done all that. I happened to
be up there on a Friday. Um. Back when Brooks
Thompson was was coaching the team. He wanted me to
come to practice and just be a part of what
it is that they did. And I did that, and
we were getting out of practice on a Friday, and Uh,
I said, you know what, I'm gonna walk back on campus,

(07:04):
go up to Big Stairs. All the road runners. You
don't know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that,
the big stairs leading to the campus. So when I
walked out of the back of the Convocations Center, it
was students from there all the way to the Big Stairs.
They were hosting a pep rally for the football team.
I thought that that was amazing because I had no idea.

(07:26):
I don't think a lot of people under you know,
even though that they do that on Fridays they have
the big Pepper rally for the football team, and I thought,
you know what, that would have been a great experience
to be a part of that. But what we did
at U T. S A and the time that I
was there, Uh, it's set the table, you know, for
the university to have the success that they have now. Uh,

(07:48):
not not taking you know, any of the credit, just
laying down the foundation and now to. You know, man,
if I'm you know, seventeen eighteen years old walking in
on campus as an incoming freshman, now I have to
be excited. You know. Back then it was it was
more of a commuter school, and so a lot of
people didn't live on campus. And now you know, in

(08:09):
that surrounding area ut SA Boulevard, Um, it's it's on
it's it's very lively, um on an everyday basis, and um,
you know, I'm very excited for those kids, and they
need to be excited. Um. You know as a basketball team.
You know, just in the fact that there's a lot
of resources out there now and I'm just I'm happy

(08:33):
for U. T. S A as a whole. Your jersey
is retired by U T. S A. How special is
that for you? And also the fact that you know
that you'll always be remembered by the young athletes coming
up and the people to go to the games and
see your jersey up there. Well, it's an easy recruiting
tool for me, you know. And I'm taking some of
these high school players uh to the game and uh,

(08:53):
you know, I tell them they look up was that say?
And they're like, you know, they see the Brown twenty three,
and they're like coaches that you. I'm like, well, I don't.
I don't know any too many more Brown twenty three,
so this gotta be me. But yeah, it's exciting, man.
I you know, I got a chance to go to
the game a couple of weeks ago they played North Texas. Uh,
had a great time. Caught myself looking at it a

(09:14):
couple of times and just going down memory lane things
like that. So, uh, it's great. Um, I'll tell you
what I enjoyed my my four years when I was there.
I wouldn't change that for anything. And um, you know,
we got a lot done, you know while I was there,
and to see that school doing the things that they're

(09:34):
doing now and and going into another conference you know
here in a couple of years. Uh, just a lot
of great things happening for the school. You know. That
one of the cool things about doing the show. And
this is our tenth episode, as we've had a chance
to visit with guys about their basketball journeys and everyone
is different, right, every journey is a little bit different.
So now we get to the fact that you're not
drafted in O two and now you're the real fun

(09:57):
begins for Brown. Okay, so I don't want to get
in the way. I wanted to kind of take me
through all the stuff that went on because you my
friend or a guy that paid his dues. Yeah, I did. So,
you know, here we go where it's a night of
the draft and the Spurs have the last two picks
and I'm not expecting to get picked. I mean, I
wasn't expecting to play at that level, you know, at

(10:20):
the time, and um, you know that didn't happen. And
the next day I get a phone call from a
guy named Francis Flax out of Salina, Kansas, and he said,
we drafted you number one overall into the usb L.
I don't know if any of our viewers, well some
of the viewers will remember that league. But a three

(10:41):
month league. And you know, when you sit down and
you you go over it with your agent on, you know,
why go to this league or things like that. It's
the chance to play basketball, and being that it's a
three month league, your goal is to try and make
an NBA Summer League team. So that's what I did.

(11:01):
I went down there. You know, we're practicing at Southern Nazarene.
You ever heard of that. I have heard of Nazarie
and Southern Nater Not a big school, not no, not
a big school, not a big town. Hey, listen, when
that Walmart goes I mean that alarm on top of
Walmart goes off, it's get to the Walmart. Get the
shelter because something's coming in. Hey. You don't want to
be a part of some tornadoes, now, right, Yeah? Yeah.

(11:24):
I stayed right there at the Hampton Inn across the
street from that Walmart. Uh. Played well, We got to
the championship game, had fifty one in the championship game,
and of all people that were in the stands. R. C.
Beauford was at that game. About that, right, But you're
still not thinking that something's gonna happen after that. So

(11:45):
I didn't hear anything from San Antonio. I went to
Summer League with the Washington Wizards. We had eighteen guys
for two spots, and I was one of the two
that made that team. Went up there, very young team
at the time, guys like Jared Jeffries, Wan Dixon, Brendan Haywood,
Eaton Thomas, Eaton Thomas the poet. The poet. Eaton wrote

(12:09):
poetry right dev he did. He was the same way
as now he was then back then his teammates would
give him a lot of a hard time for that,
But that's just who he was. Extremely nice guy. You know,
you you run across and you know this Bill. You've
been in NBA a long time. You run across some
of these guys. They're big, they're tough, but when you

(12:32):
get off the court with him, they're completely different. And
that's who he was. And uh, so you know I
was able to do that. Um, do you want me
to continue with that? Well, because it kind of was
back and forth because the D League was not very
well known back then, and it was called the D
League and not the league. It was called the n
B d L as a matter of fact, the NBA

(12:53):
Development League. Uh. And you you became part of that
as well, right, I did. So you know, like you
we if we go back a couple of paces there,
there's not many people that know this story. Um, when
it comes to one of the last games I was

(13:13):
with the Wizards. You remember how they used to do
it at in Boston the Summer League. Teams were going off,
teams were coming on. Well, we were going off and
the Spurs were coming on and Boo Noser tapped me
on the shoulder and he's like, hey, you're the kid
from San Antonio. I say yes, sir, and he goes, hey,

(13:35):
why don't you come work out with us sometime and
ran off. He didn't give me a location, he didn't
tell me any times, and he didn't tell me when.
So I'm like, okay. So I get back to San
Antonio and uh, I'm sitting there and I'm like, well,
I know they used to practice at Incarnate Word, but

(13:58):
I think they have a new facility. And the facility
of the apartment that I was staying in by u
t s A off of the USA Boulevard. It was
a block over. Wow. So that first day I walk
over there and the very first person I see when
I'm already going to the building. This is before they
had the thumb print. Yeah you know what I'm talking about, Bill, Yeah,

(14:21):
before just security Yeah they yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It
was the empty parking lot. I made my reservations that
Louby's because all that was wide open. So I made
my reservations with Louby's. I said, listen, I'm gonna come
in here. Give me about a couple of hours. I'm
gonna go in here and play with the Spurs, all right, right?

(14:42):
And so I go in there and the very first
person I see is David Robinson, the very first person.
So you talk about intimidating, and he turns around and
he's like, welcome, and I'm like, I know he could
see my heart. We probably picked it up put it
back in my chest. But I go in there, and

(15:02):
you know, from that day forward, UM end up going
to training camp with them, you know, um. But you
know when you talk about the G League, uh in
oh three, you know, I went to training camp with
with San Antonio, had a great summer, you know, working
out with those guys. I worked out for him with

(15:23):
about two months. And one day I was leaving and
the big Man called me. I was halfway through the
parking lot and I turned around and it was Gregg
Popovich and he said, hey, you want to come to
training camp with this. I said absolutely, And he said
did you have any plans for what you're gonna do?

(15:45):
And I said yeah, I was gonna actually work at
H E B. And he asked me how much they
were paying me. I said twelve bucks an hour and
he said I think I can pay you a little
bit more than that. I don't want to go through
this whole thing with your agent. Would you like to
join our team? I said yes, And two days later
we were in Paris for a training camp. So we

(16:05):
went through training camp. Training camp was good. But here
comes that last preseason game, right and Pop calls me
in his office and he's just looking at me and
he's like, young fella, the numbers aren't right with us.
And I said, no, I understand. He said, but you
did a heck of a job, um, and we'll keep

(16:28):
our eye on you. And I remember walking out of
that office and you know, you're in a situation where
you haven't let anybody down because it's the NBA. But
you want to get back to that. You know, you
want to get back to the you know, flying in
the middle of the night and things like that. Uh,

(16:48):
you know, not having to check in the hotel as
the cards are right there on the table for you.
You want to get back to that. So yes, I there,
I go. I go to the G League. Now build
the interest. Same thing about this is when you get
down there and you go do your physical This was
remember this was one of the first years they did
the G League. So guess what. You have four players

(17:12):
at one location that all have to go through physicals,
so you have twelve stations or whatever men stations they
add and that line, you're talking to everybody. So whenever
you get done with the physical is when you get
on the bus and you go to whatever city you're at.

(17:32):
And at that time it was some there were some
cities that were very far from Atlanta, and you ended
up in Fayetteville. Is that right? Ended up with Fayetteville.
Jeff Capel, that's a legendary name. His son Jason played
for u n C. Jeff Capel kind of you know,
I get down there, he gives me the keys. He said, Hey,

(17:53):
this is your team. You're coming from San Antonio. Uh,
we know you're not gonna be down here long on,
but you get these guys extra shots. Uh, stay after practice,
all the things that you need to do, because everybody
that's there and that roster bill, they you want to
get to the NBA. And if you go down there

(18:15):
and you mess around or uh, you don't take care
of your business, you're gonna get stuck there and then
you're gonna be out of the rotation. So I got
down there and Jeff was great. He was absolutely great,
legendary coach. His wife would fixed, uh, neck bones for me.
That's you know, I love neckbones and that that's a
Southern thing. Neck bones yeah, pork yeah, pork neck bones yeah.

(18:39):
There and and and there. In the South, they're huge
ox tails, you know, things like that. So his wife
would fix those for me and U. I had some
great teammates. One of the one of the teammates that
a lot of people don't know about is Matt Barnes.
Matt Barnes and I spent a lot of time together
getting shots up before and after practice, uh, competing you know,

(19:03):
one on one things like that. So we got down there.
You know, we were trying to get out of there
as quick as we could. But Jeff Capel did do
a great job of making it, you know, comfortable for us.
You were the m v P that year, if I'm
not mistaken of the entire league had a great year.
You know, Coach Capel putting me on the block. So
as I was a guy that scored from the outside

(19:24):
score from the inside, you're posting up six five to
a six five to thirty big guard. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
big guards. So like the bang Bodies PG and car
Listening used to give me. You used to give me
a lot of grief and a lot of credit at
the same time. That makes sense about being that big

(19:45):
guard because my nickname with San Antonio when I when
I first started with him was Butch. Butch like a butcher. Right.
He's like, you're like a butcher. You're going there and
it's like that that that, and I'm like, hey man,
I don't know what you want me to do. These
guys are moving so fast. Sometimes you just gotta faulom
And he's like, hey, Devin, we have no problem with that.

(20:07):
That was it PJ who gave you the nickname butcher?
Or did you get that from somebody else? Okay? Because
he was one thing about p J and you and
I worked with him closely for a number of years,
but he would always give everybody a nickname. I became
Philly Billy because I'm from Philadelphia to dev Here it
is twenty two years later. Uh, people still call it

(20:27):
Matt Bonner. I saw him in the hallway just a
little while ago. Hey, Philly Billy. So yeah, yeah, PJ
is one of those guys that gives everybody a nickname.
So and and he'll he'll call you butcher till the
day you die day. Yeah. Yeah, the last time I
saw him, he did last time and I had been
out in the league ten years. Yeah, that's great. We
should try to get PJ on the show because he's

(20:48):
got a bunch of stories. I didn't realize this. I
was looking at your bio up that they actually retired
your number with the Kansas City Cajers. Not only did
you have your number retired to U T. S A.
And I don't know anybody who had their number retired
by the Case Cagres, but now I do. Well, Yeah,
they remember getting that phone call and going back for

(21:08):
the ceremony. That was That was exciting. I mean that's
you know, like I said, that's one of those three
month leagues. Um, you know played well. I was. I
mean I was a young guy fresh out of college. Um,
didn't know anybody one of the uh, you know. The
big keys to to be in a situation like that is,
you know, not so much like U. T. S A

(21:31):
but sort of. But these are grown men that have
been trying to play for years and you're out there
in the USB L they they'll give you a minivan
with two guys you barely know, and we might have
a game in Long Island. And there was no Google
back then, so we had we had to stop and

(21:52):
get a map, and we had to map this thing out.
And I remember getting on the road. And that's what
makes you appreciate the career that I had when you
have to go through experiences like that. Because I'll tell
you what I've been around a couple of teams. I'm
not naming any coaches, I'm not naming any players. But
if that plane was five minutes late and we were

(22:14):
going to Miami or New York or Los Angeles, oh,
they were yelling at somebody. You know, because Bill, you've
been around the league a lot. You know, there's certain
cities you want to get there on time. And and
so when that plane is late, are if they feel

(22:35):
like we've been d icing for you know, not our
regular forty five minutes two hours going on three hours.
It becomes a problem because you're trying to point to
point B right, Yeah, hey, you gotta get point eight
point B. And if we are scheduled to get in
Miami at four thirty that playe better be there at

(22:55):
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(23:37):
back now. You're you're paying your dues and then you
get a chance to get back to the NBA. And
I know that had to be a real thrill for
you because, like I said, you're you're doing long bus rides,
you're going out to Long Island in a van with
guys you don't know, you got, you got other stuff
going on, and you had a little taste of that NBA.
How you want to get that back right now? You
want to get that back speedy? Clackson drives the ball

(24:00):
to the basket, lands on his shoulder, bust his shoulder up.
When I'm watching the game, my heart stopped, you know
for a little bit, and then the phone ring and
I'm like, no way, Yeah, they called me back. So
you know, you come back ten day contract um and

(24:23):
you got you gotta make the most of it, right
and uh, you know I did. I was able to
do that. But that's what it is. You know, you
gotta whenever you you play in the D League or
G League, whatever it's called now, you gotta be ready
for that phone call because you just you just never know.
You just never know. Now, was that during the oh
three oh four season or the oh four oh five season, No,

(24:47):
three oh four season, that was your first year when
you came down okay and you got a chance to
play some there, and then of course you know you're
the next year is a championship season and you're with
some guys that can really play some lockdown defense. It's uh,
you know, during that period of time, the Spurs obviously
were the best team in the league, most consistent team
in the league. And if it wasn't for the four

(25:08):
tents of a second shot against the Lakers with Derek Fisher.
They go, they get it to Fisher, the stories, stories,
the buzzer. It'll have to be reviewed. They'll review it,
they'll review it. The Lakers are gonna run to the
dressing room and they're trying to get on the plane
before the officials can get over to the scorers table. Four.

(25:31):
Good n We're gonna take a look at it. But
I gotta tell you live to look. I thought it
did too. Uh and the and one and oh six
for Navitsky goes and the phone. There's a chance of
like five in a row there. So birds came. But
you were on that championship team at oh five. What

(25:52):
do you remember about that season in particular, devon Um,
just the preparation every day. Every day with san Antonio
was a business like atmosphere as far as you know,
Pop wanted to make sure that all the new guys
and we didn't have a lot, but we did have

(26:12):
some um that you were ready down the stretch. So
film sessions, it was a lot of film that year, um,
being that we were breaking down what it is that
the Spurs do defensively. Okay, because in the playoffs you
don't have time, you know, to try and do a
whole lot of teaching. So you know, that year, it

(26:33):
I mean it was. It was a ton of film
and m so you know, I don't know if you remember,
but losing that first game against Denver game one, we
had a player's only meeting and Robert Ory got up
and addressed the team and that kind of set the
tone after that. After that we got rocking and started

(26:54):
playing a whole lot better. And obviously we know what
happens in the end. But you know, even even that
game in Detroit, Pop went to Rob late in that
fourth quarter and you know we had to help him up.
You know, it was as stiff as a board over there.
But I'll tell you what that that six minutes that

(27:15):
he played, they were huge. You know, he has the
big left handed dunk, pick your back out four rocks
all again with a left hand with a dunk, and
he gets found as well, big three. I don't leave

(27:36):
this guy defensive stop. And you know that's why you see,
you don't see a whole lot of it now these days,
you know, keeping veterans around like that, But at that time, uh,
in the NBA, that's why guys like that were given
an extra year, not for eighty two games, for one

(27:56):
or two games. And that's what Rob didn't. It happened
to couple of years earlier too with Steve Kerr. Later
he wasn't playing very much, but you know when they
needed that three point shot late. Uh, that's that's one
thing that Steve could do and Rob of course could
do the same thing. That three pointer in Game five
was obviously pivotal shot I thought in the series. But man,

(28:17):
what a series. Man who had exactly what do you
playing with him? Uh? Manu man Manu cost a lot
of people their jobs. I'll just tell you that during
the summer, Uh, there would be a lot of wing
players that came in you know that San Antonio had
their eyes on and Uh, a lot of times we

(28:37):
would sit back and you know, Monty would just come
into town and you'd see you see him going against
like six or seven you know, legit wing players. Um
guys that it bounced around in the NBA. Are They
were just trying to make their way in the NBA.
And I'll never forget. Tim would just sit there and
he would laugh because he's like, none of those guys

(28:59):
are gonna make the Spurs roster because they have Manu
with Manu and and these guys going one on one,
you know for these guys trying to get an invite
to the Spurs camp. And the problem is is that
you know, man who's up there working on his game
against all these guys. So we saw a lot of

(29:20):
different things. Um at Amnu Um never knew, you know
going in. You know, you think when you're when you're
playing an eighty two games schedule, you would see, you know,
some of the same stuff. And it seemed like he
would come out there with with a different you know,
part of his bag every single game, and that's what
made him unique. Yeah. I had a chance to be

(29:42):
in Springfield last year when he was inducted in the
Hall of Fame, and because I had seen every game
he played for sixteen years, you know dead and the
love that the every other opponents showed him, and and
the different people that I got to see up in
Springfield that uh, we're from different organizations. Uh. And it
was respect not only I think for Manu and for
the Spurs, but also for the international game and the

(30:03):
way that these international players deb you know, have really
kind of changed the game especially now recently. But Monty
was one of the first guys peopally make an impact.
Yeah he did. And and you know, he's setting the
table for these guys now and they're doing a great
job bringing, you know, messing in what is that they
do in the NBA and then what is that they

(30:23):
bring you know from their side, and you know it's
a it's a beautiful thing, right and so um, you
know money who kind of set the table for that?
And uh he was, he was. He was definitely tremendous
and both on in off the court, by the way,
and uh so, you know, again, congratulations to him on
on on that and you know he was, he was

(30:46):
quite a player. Do you stay in touch with any
of your old teammates from the Spurs death You know,
you'll I'll run into him, uh Tim with volleyball and
my daughter is playing volleyball now. Bruce Bruce, you know,
Bruce is over at t M. I that's right up
my alley. Uh you know, because I'm you know, I
do a lot of recruiting with high school players. Uh

(31:07):
so I see these guys, you know, quite a bit,
and you know, I'll come to Spurs games and I'm
walking around in the back, and you know, I'll see
him see some old coaches and things like that, and so, uh,
I don't you know, I probably need to do a
better job of keeping up with them. But I have
a I have a ton going on myself, so I

(31:29):
I kind of just I'll say hi and bye, we'll
talk and things like that. H g B has two
big game changers in their playbooks this basketball season, curbside
pickup and home delivery. Check out the fancy footwork up
the h g B personal shoppers that make it all happen. First,
they snack the chips and dips. Then they pivot to
the meat section for your h g B Natural burgers
and steaks. They bring the heat with Grand Champion charcoal

(31:52):
and Texas Tough Boil. That it's h g B with
the assists. That's they take it to your car or
front door. Just go to h GV dot com, choose
curbside pick up, our whole delivery, and don't miss a
single play. Well, let me ask you about what you're

(32:13):
doing obviously coaching. You get your pro Skills shirt on. Yeah,
bring us up today with what you got going on
in your coaching career. So we we have a basketball organization,
Nike Pro Skills here in San Antonio, and um uh
all I look for is under the radar kids um

(32:34):
that that want to do what I did. You know,
you can't do it by yourself. Obviously, there's gonna be
some great players, and we have some great players around
town that just don't have the exposure that they need.
So we have on our organization about three d kids.
Right now, we have twenty three teams. We take them

(32:56):
around Dallas, Houston, California, South Dakota. We go, we go everywhere.
We get them on that platform that they need if
they want to play at the college level. I see
these are mostly high school age kids. Death yeah, well,
I mean we start from kindergarten to twelve. But when

(33:16):
you start talking about travel basketball, when it comes to
that level, we kind of want to keep it seventh
grade and above. If that seventh grade team is is
ready to you know, start getting into Dallas and Houston,
because you know, I'll be honest with you, but they
got some They got some monsters you know in uh
in Dallas and Houston, Uh not on you know, Vegas.

(33:39):
They got them everywhere, but eighth grade and above for sure.
But our seventh graders, UM, they've been doing a great job.
If we feel come March that they're ready, then they
can join the club too. But uh we we mainly
I work with our I have, UM, I coached three
of our top high school level guys are unsigned seniors.

(34:02):
You know, we give them two and a half months,
a couple of live periods to get that one last
look you know before you you know may want to
you know, do something else. Uh coach our our top
twenty four is we're looking forward to seeing what they're
gonna do this summer. That's gonna be one of my teams.
And then we're gonna do a combo. Uh two. Now,

(34:23):
when I'm shouting these numbers out, this is the graduate
when they they're graduating class in high school. All right,
So our our top twenty team, they're gonna be really good.
We got some twenty five sophomores that can really play,
and we're gonna we're gonna make sure that you know,
what we say in our business right now is we're

(34:43):
gonna give them an NBA type schedule, Like we're gonna
put them in places that they need to be and
on that platform so we can get their name out there. Yeah.
Put them to work, right, I meant them to work.
Where did this passion come for you? From coaching for teaching? Yeah? Yeah,
I'll just say a name. L J. Brown. That's my son. Uh.

(35:05):
He graduated in We had been playing with a couple
of teams around town, and you know, I've been through it, Bill,
and I knew at some of the gyms that we
were going to and some of the you know, teams
that we were playing against. I said, I think there's
a little bit more out there, but I couldn't find
it at the time. And he called me one day

(35:28):
and he told me about this this program. And you know,
when you're making a switch like that is junior year,
you know, I didn't want to do it, but we did,
and I'm glad that we did because now he's playing
college ball. He's there in Dallas playing. UM. You have
to have that platform to get to where you're at,
Bill and be around those players that you're at. You

(35:51):
have to be on the rap platform as an organization.
You cannot just play in San Antonio during the during
the summer. That's not gonna work. You have to get
these kids out there because you know, a lot of
these kids, for a seventh grader, for eighth grader, for
a ninth grader, they've never seen someone six ten, at fifteen,

(36:15):
sixteen years old. You see what I'm saying, And so
that's my passion is to get them out there that way.
When we get back to San Antonio, you go, coach, now,
I know what it is that I need to work on, right,
and so that's what we're trying to do for these kids.
It's great to see the passion that you have for
the game carried over to you as a coach and

(36:35):
presenting it to these young guys. Dev We've asked all
the guests on the show about, uh, the legacy of
the Spurs. Of course, you're a San Antonio native, so
you probably have a little different perspective. But it's the
fiftieth anniversary this year, and of course we're doing this
big celebration all year long, having guys like you on
the show, and uh, my Kicker Rollard, director of broadcasting,
is producing this wonderful documentary, a series of documentaries, so

(37:00):
we're having a lot of fun with this. But when
you think about fifty years for the Spurs, first few
years of course the A B, A and now fifty
years overall. Uh and the Spurs impact in the NBA
and on basketball. What would you say that that would be? Yeah,
well I'll answer that like this, Um. In high school,
you know, you never, you know, really heard about any

(37:22):
negative things about the Spurs when it came to off
the court stuff. Uh, and what they brought to the
city of San Antonio as far as basketball, I gave
us pride, and it gives me pride now, um, because
I'll tell you what when I walk into the gym
for you know, some of these tournaments that we go
to and let's say they're in Dallas, let's say they're

(37:44):
in Houston. I'm a Spur. It's the Spurs versus Rockets, right,
And I might have these sixteen year old but they
will tell you. I walk in there and I'm like,
we don't lose to them. We don't lose to them,
all right, That's what it was. That's what it is
for me now out Um. You know, in college, the
same thing, those guys would come out and and and

(38:06):
play pick up with this and they just had this
this deal about him, where you know what, we're gonna
come in here, and we're gonna show you why we're
the Spurs and you guys are roadrunners, right, the little
game within the game. And then to be a part
of it, to see it every day, to walk in
to see Pop and the passion that he had a

(38:30):
guy like myself and I and I say it all
the time, Man, whatever Pop wanted me to do, I
would do. And uh, whether it was running through a wall,
are our guarding you know, somebody I had no business
guarding as far as you know, Shack or whoever. I'm like, yes, sir,
I got it. I'll go do it. So when you

(38:53):
wrap this thing up in fifty years, it's just the
pride that we have being a native San Antonio and
the fact that, um, it just to me, it's excellence
and and the Spurs have done a great job, not
only on the floor but off of the floor. And

(39:13):
you know, it's something that's it's a pride that I
carry with me now. UM so very happy to to
see all the different phases of it, you know, just
real quick. And nine when they when they won, I
was downtown walking the Commerce Street and it was a

(39:34):
lot of people down there. And to see that, you know,
it just it just feels that fire in you. And
so some of those dark days I had when I
was in the G League and things like that, I
remembered those nights. Remember the night of of oh five,
you know, driving in the hummer uh down? Uh? What

(39:58):
was that? Thirty five? And I'm high fiving out the window,
driving on the shoulder. Now, nobody tell the police that,
but anyway, that was a long time ago. But I'm
high fiving people on the highway, you know. And that's
the passion that San Antonio has about you know, they're
San Antonio Spurs. Bill. I remember being hurt and Tim

(40:23):
invited me to his house to watch the game, and
I turned him down because I always wanted to know
what it felt like to watch it at one of
your local sports bars, a road game when you were
actually on the current roster. And when I got hurt,
I did that. And it is not only not only

(40:46):
is it like one, but around this city when the
Spurs were going really good, I mean, I know they
have an idea because you know, you know how it
is you come back from the airport after a huge win,
there's a thousand people out there. But around town, the
passion that there is for the San Antonio Spurs at

(41:07):
all these different bars, the watching parties that are all
around the city. Um, it's amazing. So you know, from
from someone that's been on both sides of it, you know,
I personally I'm saying thank you, you know, to the
organization and then you know, with me being a part
of it. Um, yeah, man I I it's a lot

(41:30):
of passion that comes with being you know, a San
Antonio Spur and a San Antonio Spurs fan. Definitely, certainly
do appreciate you taking the time to join us for
the podcast. I hope to see it down the line
at a future game for sure, and uh, continued success
with pro skills, I know that, Uh you're doing a
great job with that and uh we hope to see
you again very soon. Okay, Hey, thank you for having

(41:53):
me and you will definitely see me. We'll be there
in the Dome on Friday, and UM, you know, thanks
for taking the time. I'm and I really appreciate it. Okay,
thank you. That is Devin Brown, our guest Sound of
Spurs podcast, The Home Brown Spur Devin Brown, presented by
h g B. We'll see you next week. Yeah,
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