No lockout workouts yet for Spurs, but they could be coming

The opening of NBA training camps has been officially postponed, another casualty of the league’s ongoing labor dispute, but that doesn’t mean Spurs players won’t be working out together in San Antonio sometime in the near future.

No formal get-together has been formally organized yet, but with the lockout poised to eat up the first half of October and maybe more, Spurs forward Matt Bonner says he expects at least a handful of players will convene for voluntary camp-style practices at some point.

“Up until now, we’ve been hopeful we’d get (the lockout) solved before they cancelled anything,” said Bonner, a vice president of the players union. “As things have become more real, we’ll probably talk about getting something organized.”

It’s difficult to predict how well-attended such sessions might be.

Few Spurs players live in San Antonio full-time during the offseason — Tim Duncan being the most prominent exception — making large-scale workouts difficult  to organize this point.

In addition, up until recently four players — Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter and rookie Cory Joseph — have been indisposed playing with their respective national teams in Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Complicating matters going forward, some players’ overseas obligations could mute participation at any future player-run workouts. DeJuan Blair (Russia) and Danny Green (Slovenia) have already committed to spending the lockout abroad. Parker, Splitter and Ginobili are also mulling offers to play overseas should the lockout continue.

Player-run workouts became en vogue during the NFL lockout, with players from numerous teams arranging mini-camps at local colleges or high school. Many members of the Dallas Cowboys, for instance, worked out at Southlake Carroll High School.

Among NBA teams, players from the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors have pieced together lockout mini-camps this summer. Players in Cleveland are talking about doing the same.

The Spurs have yet to formulate team-wide workouts, though earlier this offseason, second-year guard James Anderson did organize workouts for a collection of young players, including Green, Gary Neal and Da’Sean Butler.

“It was mostly conditioning, a lot of individual workouts, getting up a lot of shots — a little bit of everything we could do with us four or five,” Anderson said. “We didn’t really have enough to play pickup. We were a little short on that end. But just getting together and getting some team chemistry between us was good.”

With Green in Europe and Neal enjoying the early glow of new fatherhood, even that group would be hard-pressed to reunite now. The longer the lockout persists, however, the more vital such workouts become.

Who knows? It might be fun for Spurs players to practice without Gregg Popovich yelling at them.

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