Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/27/12

Note: With several members of our staff being big Star Wars fans, the biggest fan likely being being our hard working content editor, Jeff Garcia, I will discuss the Spurs-Hornets opener with a dash of Star Wars dorkdom mixed in.

Jedi Master Gregg Popovich squares off against his Padawan, Hornets head coach Monty Williams. It's easy to say Spurs assistant head coach Mike Budenholzer is the heir apparent to Popovich, but don't count out Monty Williams in that discussion.

Williams is very close to Pop, probably closer to him than any other member of the Spurs extended family around the league.  We're talking Qui Gon Gin/Obi Wan Kenobi stuff here (Episode 1 happened, right?).

Rewind a little bit to Las Vegas Summer League.  On each side of the court, there is a section roped off for coaches, team exectutives and VIPs. Coach Pop showed up a little before the Spurs' first game against the Hawks. Pop and Monty spent the entire first quarter sitting right next to each engaged in conversation. There's an obvious connection there and Monty's defensive mentality certainly shows signs of early years Pop.

Just because Monty is so close to Pop doesn't mean he's destined to rise to a seat on the Spurs' Jedi Council. No one besides Pop knows the Spurs system better than Coach Bud.  Budenholzer has been very selective in which head coaching jobs he's even agreed to interview for, which shows that he doesn't want the first head coaching job that comes his way and probably also means he doesn't want to go somewhere that would keep him becoming the Spurs next head coach when Pop finally decides to walk away from the bench.

Just because Williams would be a good fit on the Spurs' bench doesn't mean he'd be interested in it. Why you ask?  Because the Hornets have the best rookie big man since Tim Duncan on their roster.  Williams pulled a Pop and reached out to Davis before the Hornets even drafted him (not that it was ever in doubt).  If you have the next Kevin Garnett or Tim Duncan on your team (and a possible Tony Parker clone in Austin Rivers), it's probably going to be really tough to walk away from.

There's another Jedi Master-Padawan relationship that we'll see on the court Halloween night, only it has less of chummy feeling to it.  Tim Duncan and Anthony Davis probably have not met.  Austin Rivers and Tony Parker may have met since Rivers' dad is an NBA coach but it's safe to say there's no tight relationship there.

Despite little to no relationship between the duos, these four players are going to be linked to each other for as long as Duncan and Parker are in the league. Anthony Davis could become Tim Duncan 2.0. Some scouts have already made the comparison and Davis' play in college and the fact that he's a member of Team USA at the age of 19 shows it's not the most ridiculous comparison in the world. Rivers said leading up to the draft that he models his game after Tony Parker (among others) and the Hornets used Rivers at the point during his abbreviated Summer League appearance.  I think the Hornets would like to build their franchise around Davis, Rivers and Eric Gordon much like the Spurs have with Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili.  Time will tell if Williams can get those three to blend in the incredible way Coach Pop has helped mold the Spurs' Three Amigos.

I wouldn't call Halloween Night a passing of the torch ceremony from one Western Conference team to another, but the Spurs-Hornets could become a very compelling series to watch the next couple of seasons.

Chapter One starts Opening Night.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message


Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker