Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitants are, as a man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "saints angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing.
-Opening paragraph from Cannery Row, John Stteinbeck
Perspective is an peculiar thing. And it is your own perspective that dictates how you view the 2010 season for the San Antonio Spurs. You might say it was an utter failure, a waste of time and investment, emotional and financial. You might also say that it was an overachieving year, a year full of joy, encouragement and inspiration. Either statement is correct and no one can tell you that you are wrong.
I envy those who are able to find rays of sunshine on such gloomy days (Daveed I'm looking at you) for I am not one of those people. Every 48 minutes that ends in a loss is a failure. And every year that does not end in a championship falls short of my expectations.
A few years after the Duncan-Manu era, having missed the playoffs for consecutive years, we might look back and think, "hey those playoff exits weren't so bad." But right now I'm simply heart broken. Teams with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili should not be beaten by one stud and a bunch of, whatever. Much less swept! We couldn't muster one game?
The last two seasons were easy to shake off with laments of, "Well, if Manu were healthy..." This year Manu is healthy and arguably playing the best basketball of his career and our roster is littered with proven talent. So how did we get swept by the freaking Suns? Were we short on ability? Maybe. Was it a lack of execution? Partly. Or were we missing the heart and determination that is found at the core of champions? God, I hope not.
For the next few months I'm going to try really hard to be encouraged for next season. This site will certainly help. But there are only so many moves the front office can make. After that it boils down to a simple cliche. How bad do we want it? And that question will not be answered until next season.