Spurs Lose Season Opener

The San Antonio Spurs opened the 2022-2023 season with a loss at home to the Charlotte Hornets, losing 129-102.

Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich

(On young guys learning experience …)

“You start with the fact that we got thumped, and you don't avoid it, you don't hide from it. We got our butts kicked, and from there you can look to improve. You can't act like it didn't happen. That's the most important part. Second-most part is sticking together and understanding it's going to be a long process and there's a lot of things that they have to learn. They haven't been together. Beyond that, what it's going to take at this level, the physicality and that sort of thing. It improved a little bit in the second half, but it's a process. It's a good group, but they've got things they have to learn and do better and that's something we will work on.”


(On second half of the game...)

“We were just more physical, more competitive in that sense. Understanding you've got to touch people, you've got to bump and grind with people, can't let them go where they want to go, that sort of thing. It’s an education, especially for the youngest guys.”

Spurs Guard Tre Jones

(On the biggest area of improvement…)

“The way we started the game, I feel like we came out a little soft. They hit us in the mouth early, and we were fighting from behind the entire night. Coming out stronger and not playing from behind the entire game, we just have to learn from it.”

(On the demeanor of younger players…)

“You can tell it was their first game. We got down and you just feel it different. Coach is on us and what not, we continue to play, Keep a positive mindset. Couple of positives from tonight for sure but just have to be better from the start.”

Spurs Forward Doug McDermott

(On the game getting away from a young team…)

“You got to give them a lot of credit. They played really well tonight. That little slip up was kind of on the bench. I don’t think we came in ready to play when our starters got us to 12. We just didn’t have a lot of urgency.” It’s a small margin for error in this league. You can go on some runs, but they can be taken away really quickly.”

(On his role on this team…)

“Just trying to be a role model on and off the court. I learned a lot from my vets when I was younger. Just trying to show them the way, taking care of your body , eating right, getting proper sleep.”



Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford

(On win in season opener and work put in, in offseason…)

“Yeah, I think so. Good, pretty balanced play. The turnovers in the third quarter were a problem. We got some good play from the starters. when we subbed in the first half, we sustained the play. In the third quarter, they picked up their intensity. I don’t know how many turnovers we had in the third quarter. Probably six or seven. The best part of the game was they cut it to ten, then Gordon Hayward made two big plays to get it back to 15, and then we were able to get the lead back up… There were a lot of good things to build on.”

(Coaching a young team and not spiraling…)

“Well, you learn from it. Two guys who were obviously in the in the middle of it were Gordon and Terry. They made the plays; guys that you can play through. They've obviously played a lot of these games before, so they were poised, their decision-making was good. We got good shots”

(On P.J. Washington and Nick Richards…)

“Both of them played really well. P.J. was a big part of us getting off to a good start, and Nick was, again, his physicality on both backcourts, his talk defensively, his pick-and-roll defense… outstanding.”


Hornets Guard Terry Rozier

(On first win of the season…)

“It means nothing. The game is over now. We have a big game on Friday. That’s the thing about this league; you can win or lose but you have to move on and worry about the next game. It’s always good to start the season off 1-0 , but now we have to keep taking care of business.”

(On what they did well against the Spurs…)

“Just having poise. In this league, it’s the next man up mentality. Dealing with injuries, Cody was set to play more minuets but after the first couple of dribbles, his knee wasn’t feeling right. Everybody has to always be ready to play.”

(On Kelly Oubre Jr. …)

“I’m excited for him. He’s been to the highest of highs and lowest of the lows. He keeps on trucking through, puts in the work, and is super confident. I am a big fan, and I am happy for him.”

Hornets Center Nick Richards

(On the win…)

“It feels good. It’s a good start for us as a team. It’s a great building block for us. We can always get better for this game. We’re happy for the win, but it’s just one game. 81 more to go.”

(On his performance in the game…)

“Just have to keep it simple. That’s my whole mentality. It’s better when you play the game with that mindset when you don’t go outside of yourself. I think that’s really important.”

(On the momentum of this win onto the next game against Zion and the Pelicans…)

“It’s two different teams and two different styles of play. We have to focus on the entire team. They have great players. We have great players. We just need to focus on what their style of play is so we can go out and execute.” 

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