In an interview with Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, former Spurs and now Lakers’ assistant coach Chuck Person recalls some of the best basketball he played with the San Antonio Spurs.
“Shooting threes was what I worked on every day, because I knew that’s what was going to help our team.
I made two hundred three-pointers before practice every day, and two or three hundred more after practice.
On the other hand, I wasn’t a great individual defender by any stretch, but I was a good team defender, and I focused on those techniques.
We had a system that was predicated around being able to defend for a dribble and a half, keeping your man from blowing by you on one dribble, and being able to help the helper under Gregg Popovich’s design.
All in all, it was a joy to be around guys like Robinson, Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro, Doc Rivers, Monty Williams and Dell Demps, all of whom are still very much involved in the game.”
Person was a 3-point specialist. He attempted 1,853 field goals in three seasons with the Spurs (1994-95, 1995-96 and 1997-98), of which 1,184 were 3-pointers. Meaning 64 percent of his shots were taken from long-range.
He still holds the Spurs record for most 3-pointers made and attempted in a season.
This only goes to show that the Spurs philosophy has always been to give premium on defense.
When added with good outside shooting, it’s a deadly combination.
Remember, the Spurs won four championships with stingy defense and good 3-point shooters on their roster like Steve Kerr, Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry to name a few.
It’s not a stretch to say that the philosophy “The Rifleman” learned during his time with the Spurs, served as the foundation for his coaching career.