Celtics legend blasts Spurs, Popovich for not getting Wemby involved on offense

Popovich said currently sees Devin Vassell as the Spurs' 'go-to guy' on offense.

click to enlarge San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to reporters during the team's media day prior to the start of the season. - Meredith Garcia
Meredith Garcia
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich speaks to reporters during the team's media day prior to the start of the season.
Following San Antonio's Sunday blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Celtics legend and ESPN commentator Kendrick Perkins said Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich needs get his No.1 draft pick more involved in offense.

Rookie Victor Wembanyama scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked one shot in a relatively meager 26 minutes of play during the Spurs' 83-123  away loss to the Clippers. Perkins — a 2008 NBA Champion — said the Spurs need the ball to move through Wemby if the team plans to avoid more upsets this season.

"A lot of times we're watching Wemby, and he's just standing around," Perkins said Monday on ESPN's NBA Today. "Now, part of it is on him, another part is on his teammates and the other part is on Gregg Popovich. They gotta figure out a way to get him more involved offensively."
Perkins' comments came just days after fans on social media criticized forwards Jeremy Sochan and Keldon Johnson for not passing Wembanyama the ball in the Silver and Black's overtime win against the Houston Rockets.

Even so, it appears Popovich doesn't see the fledgling phenom as the Spurs' No. 1 guy on offense — at least not yet. On Tuesday, the 74-year-old coach told Express-News reporter Tom Osborn that he's looking at Devin Vassell as the go-to scorer.

"Devin is starting to figure out that I want him to be a bit selfish," Popovich told the daily. "I want him to score, and he can score. He's got a lot of confidence in his three-point shot, in his ability to be a little bit of a one-on-one play when we need it, a kind of go-to guy."

Indeed, 23-year-old Vassell averaged 18.5 points a game last season and is averaging 20.7 points in the Spurs' first three games this year. Even so, Wembanyama in media comments has said he wants to land a ring "ASAP."

The 1-2 Spurs will take on the Phoenix Suns at 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Footprint Center. The game will be nationally televised on TNT.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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