PHOTO: Fan gets a Matt Bonner tattoo, is awesome

by Jan 27, 1:23 PM

It turns out we're not the only ones who are big Matt Bonner fans.

No, there's one big fan out there who took the extreme step of having Bonner's likeness tattooed onto him. Yup...a Matt Bonner tattoo. That happened.

By the way, it's unclear if the person who tweeted the photo is the tattooed or simply came across the image. Note, too, that Bonner's jersey has no San Antonio Spurs logo, a smart move in the event he is ever traded or signs elsewhere.

Also, please note that this is awesome, and we encourage all readers to get tattoos of their favorite athletes because they'll never, ever regret it.

Jan 12, 10:14 PM

Bonner's longevity in limited role a rarity

by Jan 12, 10:14 PM

Matt Bonner scored 14 points in the San Antonio Spurs victory on Sunday night, the most points he's scored since Jan. 19, 2013, and his first double-digit output of the season.

His production is now far more modest than it was even just two seasons ago, and the 33-year-old Florida product is playing just 11 minutes a night for coach Gregg Popovich. He's averaging just three points, but somehow remains an appreciable end-of-the-bench weapon for the Spurs attack.

That's because Bonner has retained one elite skill into his 10th NBA season - the ability to hit the triple.

A highly-likable red-head, Bonner is hitting threes at a 43.8 percent clip, just north of his 41.7 percent career mark. Few 6-foot-10 forwards can stroke it like he can, and the Spurs ball movement-heavy offense is the perfect way to utilize his limited talents, getting him open looks with enough time to fire.

And that's pretty much all Bonner does; he's averaging 1.7 3-point attempts, 0.7 2-point attempts and is yet to take a free throw on the season. It wasn't always this extreme, but for his career, more than half of Bonner's field goal attempts have come from long range.

It's actually quite a rarity, a player who takes half his attempts from downtown for that long a period of time. In fact, Bonner is one of just nine players ever to have played at least 600 NBA games and taken half their shots from beyond the arc.

Brent Barry1996200991225.
Kyle Korver2004201477125.
Matt Bonner2005201465718.
Charlie Ward1995200563022.
Damon Jones1999200965720.
Steve Blake2004201469725.
Chris Duhon2005201360625.
Keith Bogans2004201467121.
Matt Bullard1991200261514.

[Courtesy: Basketball-Reference]

Of those nine, Bonner trails only noted marksman Kyle Korver in career 3-point percentage.

Several active players are on the list, however, so this may becoming a more common occurrence. The graph below shows the league's increasing reliance on the 3-point shot as well as the instances of individual seasons where a player played 500 minutes and took half his attempts from downtown (the 2013-14 mark is the current pace).

But Bonner's longevity in such a limited offensive role should still be appreciated. If, with the marginalization of the mid-range game, 3-point shooting forwards become more the norm, Bonner will look like a pioneer. Steve Novak knows what we're talking about.

An impending unrestricted free agent, Bonner is probably due for a pay cut from the nearly $4 million he'll earn this season. The Spurs like continuity, and if the New Hampshire native is willing to play for closer to the veteran's minimum, it's not hard to see him filling the same role next season, too.

And if he does, you know just what to expect - a few laughs, a great locker room presence and some beautiful open threes as the trailer in transition.