Gregg Popovich and Dell Demps go back a long way.
The guys at the New Orleans Hornets’ blog Hornets Blog 247.c0m had an interesting story that Demps recently told Hornets season-ticket holders .
During his career as a college player at the University of the Pacific, Demps told of a chance encounter with Popovich that shaped his professional career.
Demps told the fans that “luck equals opportunity plus preparation.” His story about meeting Popovich bears that out.
Between his sophomore and junior seasons at Pacific, Demps often took his father’s car to a nearby military installation to run and then play basketball before finally returning the car home so his dad could go to work.
One day, Demps was approached by what he termed a “near-frantic man” asking him if he played basketball and had his gear. When told he had both, Popovich quickly ushered Demps into the gymansium.
Inside were seven Golden State players, including Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin. Popovich was looking for an eighth player so his players could practice. Popovich was desperate and Demps was willing.
Even with his lack of experience, Demps eventually merited guarding after he found his shooting touch.
He was back again for the rest of the summer, eventually becoming a “test dummy” of sorts who would play 1-on-1 against potential draft selections or free-agent candidates. Demps got a tryout with the team, was cut, and then was invited back to the team after a year overseas.
Demps made the Warriors in 1993 and later played with the Spurs and Orlando in a three-season NBA career.
After his playing career ended, Demps eventually worked two years under Popovich as an unpaid intern and then spent two years coaching before returning to the Spurs. Eventually he worked as the Spurs’ executive vice president of basketball relations before accepting the Hornets’ job as general manager.
He maintains a close relationship with Popovich. It’s understandable why, considering how he got his start in basketball with him.
Here are some other Spurs-related stories from across the blogosphere to start the weekend.
- Chris Tomasson of Hoops Hype.com from his list of 26 potential Hall of Famers who currently are active in the NBA.
- Express-News Spurs beat writer Jeff McDonald had an interesting tweet about Tim Duncan, James Anderson and Danny Greenin this relentless Texas summer heat.
- Trevor Zickgraf of Project Spurs.com pretends that he’s the Spurs’ general manager with a .
- USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten and Christopher Schnaars relate how megabuck contributors like Spurs owner Peter Holt .
- Robby Lim of Spurs World.com looks back at and ranks the Spurs’ top five draft-day steals since 1997. His first choice .
- CBS Sports.com’s Eye on Basketball blog lists DeJuan Blair and Richard Jefferson as .
- Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star lists Steve Kerr among his in Arizona’s 100 years as a state.
- Jesse Blanchard of 48 Minutes of Hell.com has the story about how And Blanchard and Andrew McNeill have a podcast where Jackson about his time with the Spurs.
- Brandy Simms of Severn Patch.com writes that 7-foot former Bowie State center Travis Hyman thanks to his strong performance at Nike Pro City League in Baltimore. (Hat tip to Michael DeLeon of Project Spurs.com)
- Kawhi Leonard is ranked No. 14 among Andy Leonard of the Bleacher Report.com’s for the upcoming season.
- The Toronto Star ranks Jefferson as having one of its .
- Steve Weishampel of the Denver-based blog Westword.com looks at what Duncan would demand if he was.