Some things about the Spurs remain as constant as the Alamo to San Antonians. People like Tim Duncan are a true beacon of excellence that has enveloped the franchise for the past decade, which has seen 4 championships. One of the Spurs biggest impacts has been the influx of excellent complimentary players like Vinny Del Negro, Mario Elie, Brent Barry, and many more. Most of these men came from other teams before achieving a higher level of accomplishment in San Antonio. There just may now be a new Spur who will fit into that mold these days.
Roger Mason was the second player picked in the second round of the 2002 draft by the Chicago Bulls. Roger played just 17 games as a rookie, and scored just over one point per game. After suiting up for just 3 games in the beginning of the next season, he was dealt to the Toronto Raptors. Mason averaged 4 points in the 23 games he played for Toronto that year. He was then out of the NBA until 2006. He got a tryout with the Washington Wizards. Mason was a star at the University of Virginia, and had grown up in Washington DC. Though he he made the team and saw action in 62 games that season, he averaged just over 2 points in under 8 minutes played per game. He had shown hints of being more than an end of the bench type of player, but he was buried in the depth chart. After off season roster adjustments, Roger got a chance to play a lot more in 2007. He grabbed the opportunity and ran with it by averaging 9 points per game in 80 appearances. He also averaged a career high 21 minutes player per game. He showed his ability to be able to handle either Guard position, and also showed excellent range. For financial reasons, the Wizards allowed Mason to walk away as a free agent at the end of the year. Their loss was the Spurs gain.
The Spurs have seen Mason play in every game for them so far this season, and he averages over 30 minutes player per game. That is the third highest on the roster. He is also fourth on the team in points, averaging over 12 points a game. Mason's overall numbers are all at a career best average currently, including rebounds, steals, and assists. He is 6th on the team in rebounds per game average, and is first on the team in 3 pointers made. His role is similar to that of Del Negro and Barry. All were tall men with long range shooting ability and above average ball handling skills. Coach Greg Popovich has shown he can win with these types of smart and excellent players who put the teams needs ahead of their own. Currently the Spurs are breezing along at 20 -10. Though teams like the Lakers and Hornets may get the headlines for the Western Conference these days, the Spurs will probably threaten once again for a championship. They are a team no one wants to face in the playoffs. Guys like Roger Mason are part of the reason why.