This is the title: FUCK YOU, NBA.
But I couldn't put that in the post's title. There are rules, you know.
I came back today after a day or so of traveling around the country, with no Internet connection to use and abuse. I missed part of the backlash, the nervous jokes that help us vent, the nauseating trade ideas. The trolls, the people that love to show up and told-you-so, the Spurs fan hurrying to write obituaries - as if being the first ones to send our boys home will make it more special. The Dynasty is over! Read it here, everyone, while the bodies are still warm and haven't decomposed. Much.
I'm angry. My fellow fans are leaving the AT&T Center at halftime to beat the traffic, and the Coyote hasn't even brought out the T-shirt cannon. They are ready to remember the Good Old Days, acting like that Basketbawful asshole (whose site I visit everyday) who decided it was time to wax poetic about his old nemesis. It is easy to praise what you no longer fear, but to me his words stem more from relief and nostalgia that from real love or appreciation. I love the Spurs when Tim Duncan does that boring, repetitive shit he does so well, and I love them when Tony is fouled and stays on the floor like the French powerpuff that he is, and I sure as hell love them when the camera closes up on Manu's horrifying bald spot. If you only love them because they're done for, kaput, extinct, then your love means nothing to me. Save it. Let them become a couple of names and a vague memory of flops and dirty plays, as you want to. My people will remember them as they deserve to be remembered, when the time comes.
I've written this post before. This is the fourth straight year that we face elimination games, knowing full well that chances are against us. I usually expound at length about my positive outlook, like a stupid William Wallace asking Scotsmen to die in a war for freedom - only that the Scotsmen all die in a hail of arrows, I get skewered in my ass, and Hipuks shows up from between the bushes to laugh at us. "It's not over until it's over!" "The fat lady isn't a Grizzly!" "The boys haven't given up!" I say, and then they lose, they lost, they will? Clichés raining on you like Battier triples.
Well, you know what? It's still fucking true.
So I'll be there tomorrow, in front of the screen, looking at what could be the last game of the season, but believing that I could be watching the start of a magical sports moment, the bloodied underdog that throws a wild knockout punch, the comeback to end all comebacks. I refuse to believe that the previous teams that came back from a 1-3 hole were somehow worthier than Tim Duncan, who has won championships with nothing but a hard look. We still outManu them 1-0, and Tony looks good on a hoodie. It's time to cash in the infinite good karma accumulated through the years by letting Jacque Vaughn and Matt Bonner play in the NBA. Down 20 in the last quarter? No problem! The powers-that-be will provide.
B-b-but, Latin, they have taken our triples! Neal can't defend! RJ is overpaid! Matt Bonner is paid! Blair is playing less minutes than Tiago! They've broken the Spurs! How can we win?! Well, to all that I say: I don't know. I don't know anything about basketball. Seriously. Nothing. I'm an engineer and the whole extent of my basketball experience consists of shooting at a hoop in my backyard with a two-handed form so ugly that even Tiago would pity it. I'm not Popovich - yes, Popovich, that basketball genius that subnormal Spurs fans want to fire immediately because he makes mistakes. Look around the league, you nincompoops! Spoelstra has a job! They keep taking Popovich's second-in-commands as if they were all Red Auerbach clones! If there's one reason to want this Dynasty to be over is that the dry, winless seasons will probably cull all of you.
But you know what? If it was up to me, I'd summarize my strategy as follows: FUCK STRATEGY. We are overthinking this. What did we do in the past when they stayed on the shooters? We gave it to Tim Duncan, TIM DUNCAN, and let him score on his own. Or pass. Or do whatever he wants. In this series, I can assure you without looking at the number that he has been our most effective weapon. His field goal percentage has to be way better than any of the other player's. He had 5 dunks in Game 1 - and we wasted it! We wasted it, because we thought we were a team, we thought that Neal and Bonner and Blair could do something in the playoffs, even though we had no evidence of it. You know who's good to shoot in the 4th quarter? TIM DUNCAN. You know who else? MANU GINOBILI. What about Parker, who has been complete and utter dinosaur shit in the 4th quarters? GIVE IT TO HIM ANYWAY.
Tim took 7 shots in Game 4, and that's simply a travesty. I don't care how good Gasol is, or Randolph. If Hollins somehow gets that big red button that summoned Godzilla for the Japanese and they get a Memphis jersey in its size and suddenly Godzilla is guarding Tim Duncan, he still needs to take 20 shots. And if he misses the first 19, he should shoot number 20 anyway. He's old, you say? I. Don't. Care. I want him to shoot until he's so goddamned tired that he's taking hook shots with Rick Barry's underhanded technique. 20 shots! Until he either loses the game or they start doubling him, or someone at least looks in his direction when he's taking position and someone, anyone, is left open at the three-point line. Manu? 20 more shots. Tony? Let's throw 20 for him too. We need our stars to be looked at as stars by our opponents. That's the whole point of having stars! And honestly, if this is going to be our last game of the season, I prefer to go down with guns a-blazing, and with the Big Three doing the gunning instead of Tiago Splitter or Gary Neal. I want the last shot of the season to be a Timmy banker, not a Bonner three.
That's how I feel. It's probably a stupid non-strategy. Non-strategies tend to be.
Say we lose. The obituaries will multiply, and the Internet will be a nasty place for the two or three days people will care about the Spurs. I expect 99% of all articles written to have two words: "Dinasty" and "over", in that order, most likely one next to the other. Me, I'm going to wait for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to say they're going to retire. Hell, I will probably be expecting a comeback until the Spurs retire their jerseys. And then I will fantasize about what new number they will pick during their surprise return to basketball.
I refuse to write about them in the past tense, not right now. I'll leave that to the realists.
There's no shortage of them when Zach Randolph scores 25 on you.