By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 7, 2009
SAN ANTONIO, March 6 -- The four championships won by the Spurs during the Tim Duncan era are commemorated by banners that hang high above the court at AT&T Center.
During his team's shoot-around Friday morning, Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott used them as teaching tools for his young players.
"I pointed out the banners to them," Tapscott said. "It should be an inspiration. Every place like this where you come to play should be a learning lesson. What allows this team to achieve what it has achieved? We talked about their consistency, their commitment to playing defense and commitment to playing unselfishly. These are all values within a team that you want to continue to emphasize and reemphasize. Winning is what it's about. Not hero plays and flashy stuff. Banners and winning championships are what it's about."
-- BUTLER FEELS FOR A-ROD: Caron Butler, who missed his third straight game with hamstring tightness, has empathy for New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Like Rodriguez, who is battling a torn hip labrum, Butler had to decide whether to undergo surgery or play through a labrum tear last season.
Butler missed 24 games last season but never required surgery and said Friday that he has not been bothered by the hip since.
"The thing he has to decide is if he can play through it or not," said Butler, who strengthened the area around his hips with core training and yoga. "In my case, I was able to get it right by resting and it hasn't been a problem for me. I know what he's going through though. It's not fun."
Up Next: Saturday at Dallas 8:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980
Monday at Minnesota 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980