Just Appreciate Us
By: El Ranchero
We won in 99. We won in 03. We won in 05 and throw in 07. All we missing is the damn pinky ring. Everyone wants a pinky ring. That's all TD and Pop are missing. Why do we have to be so greedy? We got 4 already right? The Knicks and Sonics haven't won in 3 decades. Why can't we just be satisfied with 4? Because we can't. "This is America" as Denzel would say. We want more...mucho more.
The common thread around our 4 titles was that the least loved dynasty of all-time never won back to back. They never did what the Rockets did. Never did what the Bulls or the Lakers did. So you have your pundits who write anything to hopefully get their "fame-hungry" behinds on Around The Horn. "The Spurs aren't a dynasty. They never won back to back." When did winning repeat titles become the essential criteria to be considered a dynasty? If that's the case, why not lump in Hakim and Rudy's short reign as champs into the dynasty conversation.
Were my Spurs ever as dominant as the Kobe/Shaq lovefest Lakers? Of course not. But are they the most consistent franchise of the last decade? Absolutely. People say the Spurs are the "Patriots of the NBA." Au contraire. The Patriots are the Spurs of the NFL.
Two well-oiled machines run by selfless stars, shrewd coaches, and brilliant front office management.
Cherish what you've just been witness to basketball aficionados because unless a team wins 3 back-to-back or manages to pull off 4 in less than a decade with the same core intact (just some interchangeable small pieces), don't dare talk about the Spurs in a negative light
They may not have that 1 requisite star with the charisma of a Magic, Jordan, or Kobe, but even without all that, Byron Scott said it best: "They still belong in the same breath as my Lakers teams and the Bulls and Celtics."
Are we better than any of those teams? Probably not. Wait...I could sit here and argue that our best Spurs team which was either the 2003 or 2005 edition could beat the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. We may be able to dominate the Bulls with an unstoppable big man like Duncan the same way Hakim and Shaq might've been able to if they had a shot. All speculation though because we'll never know.
So my friends see me all somber since Thursday night and ask me: "Claudio, why are you so sad? You knew they weren't going to repeat. They never do. Wait till 2009. It's an odd year."
Look, I'm a diehard fan. I don't have 1 favorite team and 2 backups. I have 1, uno. I was never a Jordan Bulls fan and when MJ retired I became a Lakers fan or just stopped following basketball. I'm a loyal basketball fan. A Spurs fan since I was 8 and Rod Strick made that horrible pass in Portland. I always think my team is going to win despite what the trends may indicate. You grown men should be ashamed of yourselves. Leave that "Who's my favorite team" indecision to 10 year-old's. If you over 15, just have 1 team. Multiple favorite players is ok, but one team it must be.
Excuse the rant. I just hate fairweather's.
I swear I don't know what to make of this team anymore. God knows I didn't expect the Spurs would be rejoicing after 4 games in Cleveland last year hoisting another Larry O'Brien trophy. I promised myself I was going to fly out to Cleveland or San Antonio last year to see the clincher, but I didn't make it. I need to see a Spurs title in person before my time is up on earth. I'm only 24 so if I live an average life, I got atleast till 2060 or 2070. Enough time right? Not if you're the Cubs or Sox. God forbid that happens to us. But after seeing "youth disrespect their elders" in the playoffs, I know the Spurs time is up. Finito. Maybe sometime in the future we'll have another parade down the Riverwalk. But for now, we need to "out the old and in with the new." Popovich said: "Oh so because we lost we have to make wholesale changes." Umm not exactly, but Findog, Big Shot, and Jacque need to go. They served us well before these playoffs, but their times are up.
"But you still have Manu, Timmy, and TP. You got to the Western Conf. Finals with this core and if it wasn't for a Game 1 choke, another title may be floating down the Riverwalk." Stay with the same core? Ha! Did you see what I saw in these playoffs? We almost got bumped by a bunch of youngn's in the Hornets. We went to hell in a handbasket against the Lakers. Oh did I forget to mention that Utah is still young, Yao will be back next year, and theirs some freight truck that's supposed to be parking in the Rose Garden's paint next year. And you want to keep the same core? I don't think so.
So I've been stuck reminiscing for the last 2 days. Not about the good times, but the bad ones. I look back and wonder if .4 never happened. If Ginobilli never fouled Dirk. That would be 6. Seis. Jordan status. Would that have been enough for a dynasty? Geez! So all you guys that talk like you know basketball and play it, you ain't true basketball men if you can't appreciate what the Spurs have done. "Oh they play too slow and are boring." What fun team have you seen win a title? Definitely not Phoenix or GS. The Lakers were dump it to Shaq. The Heat were dump it to Shaq. The Pistons were a motion offense. The Rockets were dump it to Hakim. Playing defense and methodically picking apart the other team on offense is exciting in my eyes. But you can't convince everyone right?
All in all, I salute my Spurs. After Game 1, I kind of saw this coming. After Game 3, I said this is a series again. Can I blame Joey Crawford for not making that call? Of course I can. That was horrible. But even tied at 2-2 we probably would've ended up going 7 and losing. Atleast they died a quick death and not a slow one. Standing up and not on their knees. I have a problem eating after the Spurs get bumped from the playoffs. I have Olsen twinitis once my Spurs get eliminated. But not this year. I'm eating today just so you know. I was appetite free after .4 and Ginobilli's foul. I just downed an arroz, beans, and steak dinner. For some reason, I'm able to accept this one. Don't ask me why? But God I'm still sitting at the table wondering what could've been if we won Game 1. I can't get Game 1 out of mind. It hurt more than Game 4. I'll be asking the same question till opening night. What could've been...