Spurs’ young veterans are set to lead the way.

Spurs’ young veterans are set to lead the way.

The Spurs held their media day on Monday, and there was plenty to talk about. One of the biggest topics of conversation during his availability, and one that fans have been wondering about all offseason, was who was going to take on the big leadership role now that guys like DeMar DeRozan, Derrick White and DeJuante Murray are gone and so many are new. Faces are around.

Fortunately, all three of Spurs’ young veterans who have been around for a while seem ready to take on the challenge.

Most eyes will be on newly extended Keldon Johnson as far as being the vocal leader, and he agrees he’s earned his spot.

“I definitely feel like a leader, both leading by example and leading by voice,” Johnson said. “Because I have a lot of young guys, I think I can definitely speak my mind and show it in the right way.”

A new contract and a big jump from last season, not to mention undeniable charisma and, according to Jakob Poelt, a tendency to scream make Johnson the obvious choice as leader. But Devin Vassell, who became a starter after the Derrick White trade last offseason, is eager to help by showing the newcomers the ropes.

“We have a lot of young guys, new guys,” Vassell said. “You’ve just got to try to help them, whether it’s offense, defense — just, you know, everything. We just have to be that kind of leader.

Longtime Spur Jakob Poeltl knows players look to him for guidance and coaches ask him to set the tone. It will be a new challenge for the quiet Poeltl, but he has been preparing for years and is starting to lead.

“For me personally, it’s something I grew up with,” the older man explained. “Over the years, I felt like I had to take more and more responsibility. At first I was told to try to find myself, and then every year, when some of the big guys left, I had to do that more and more. This year, again, it’s been a new experience for me,” Dejounte Murray said. ) and we other guys have had to step up and really take that leadership role, and I think we’ve seen that in open gym. So I’ve accepted the challenge, I’m enjoying it.”

It’s comforting to see guys who have been playing important supporting roles for a few years excited to step up. As Vassell later explained, the Spurs still have veterans like Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson and Gorgi Dieng, but they must be part of the foundation if the players are not only willing but eager to take over as leaders. An encouraging sign for the future of the franchise.


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