What kind of week has it been?
The Spurs are halfway through the Rodeo road trip already, having won twice (at Sacramento, at the Clippers), having come short once (at Portland) and having been completely dismantled once (at the Lakers -- in a game in which Jordan Farmar outscored three Spurs starters.)
The results on the court aren't entirely surprising -- though a loss at the Lakers when Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum were on the bench was a missed opportunity -- but it's what's being said off the court that's shocking.
Manu admitting that this is his last year in San Antonio? Gregg Popovich admitting that he doesn't know what's wrong with his team? A backup point guard accidentally releasing nude cell phone pictures on the web?
It all happened in the last seven days. Welcome to one of the most outright depressing weeks an NBA team can have without seeing one of it's best players injured. To wit:
Here's what Ginobili told NBA.com's David Aldridge last week:
"I said it many times: if you had asked me a year ago, a year and a half ago, it was basically no question in my mind that I was going to be a Spur, probably, forever. But it didn't happen. Injuries first, Olympic Games or whatever, it didn't happen, and now I'm three months away from becoming a free agent. So I know it's going to happen. And I owe it to myself. It's probably going to be my last contract. So I'm going to sit, study the offers, see what's out there for me and then make a decision."
Tough to believe, isn't it? But as Ginobili's point totals dip -- he's averaging only 13.3 points per game, and his 40.4 percent shooting average is easily the lowest of his career -- the Spurs continue to wonder where the rest of the scoring will come from. And consider this: the Spurs are 21-4 this season when they score more than 100 points.
But when they don't break the century mark, they're 8-17.
What Ginobili has brought this season is veteran leadership to the backcourt. He's averaging a 4.5 assists per game, which ties the career-high he set in 2007-8.
Then again, Ginobili averaged 19.5 points per game that season.
But news about one of San Antonio's favorite players wasn't even the worst news of the week, because....
The Mystery of Richard Jefferson
“We haven’t developed a trust, a communication, a camaraderie as far as executing on the court. Which is strange for us. We’ve never had this situation.…For some reason, I’m not getting through to this group.”
What should the Spurs do with Jefferson, who's on the books for $29.2 million between this season and the next, but who's having his worst statistical season since his rookie year of 2001-2? It's unlikely that Popovich would bench Jefferson, but there's also been little reason on this road trip to be optimistic about the forward's offensive game. Through four games, he's only reached double figures once. That's not even close to being enough from Jefferson.
And yet, the news doesn't get better from there, because....
George Hill's Privates are Now Public
George Hill's become Internet famous -- and for all the wrong reasons.
A week after Portland's Greg Oden admitted that nude photos of himself were circulating on the web, Hill issued a statement that, yes, he too had discovered naked photos of himself posted on the web. (That link, by the way, is completely suitable for work.)
There's a joke in here about what IUPUI really stands for, but I won't go looking for it.
There is good news, though: the road trip gets easier from here. After Denver, the Spurs finish with three games against the Eastern Conference, and the Spurs are 13-5 this season against teams from the East. A winning road trip is still very much possible.
But it's going to take an impressive turnaround on the court to erase what's been a tough week off of it.
The Roundup is a weekly look at Spurs basketball and the NBA. Dan Oshinsky is a digital media producer at KENS 5. He can be reached at email@example.com.