I haven't been that angry in awhile.
Usually, I'm rather rational when I approach Spurs games. In most cases, I choose to stop, think and evaluate what the hell just happened before I inevitably come to my senses.
Yesterday was a different story. Either my new Spurs glasses came in the mail, I'm losing all semblance of self-respect or the terrible referees were unusually awful. I hope it's the referees. I really do.
I felt a wide range of emotions: anger (after the absolutely BS blocking foul that was actually a charge with about 3:15 left in the 4th quarter), shock (Mike Conley's improbable three-pointer), more anger (after a blown call where Memphis retained possession), a little more anger (after the referees decided fifty bad calls wasn't enough) and ultimately relief.
The Spurs won a game that we probably wouldn't have in December. A game where the refs were conspiring against us, the Grizzlies were not missing from the free throw line (18-21) while Timmy posted a vintage 19-17-3, 5 block line. As expected, he was awesome even under the utmost adversity. He remained the driving force behind Memphis shooting a meager .389 from inside nine feet.
But, deep down, I wasn't mad at the referees specifically. They were my scapegoats. In all actuality, I was mad because the Spurs almost blew a game their aging Hall of Famer desperately wanted. You don't get that caliber of Tim Duncan every day and I didn't want to waste the opportunity.
Of course, we're all probably accustomed to the current Timmy. He isn't in any shape to begin posting 20-10's every night or run continuously for about 35+ minutes a night.
This has been hard to grasp. He won't be here forever. I have to start cherishing every game as if it were his last. Slowly but surely, Father Time has weakened his limbs, limiting consistent excellence to sporadic displays of brilliance.
If you asked me five years ago the obligatory question, "What will you do when Timmy retires?" I would've articulately answered your question or, depending on my mood, gestured for you to leave the room. I didn't want to think about the unknown. The future without him. I just wanted to revel in his glory for as long as humanly possibly. I never gave his retirement (or decline in skills) anything but a cursory thought.
Yet, remarkably, his per-minute production hasn't depreciated significantly. NTTAWWT, he's still an above-average player, capable of protecting the rim and knocking down open 16-foot jumpers when necessary. At least we can take solace in the fact that he's still playing at a high level at the age of 35.
When you're fortunate enough to witness true greatness every year, you get spoiled. You don't realize that the run will end. You don't realize that one day you'll wake up and it'll be a struggle to put up 10-8 on some nights much less a near quadruple double. The bouts of athleticism -- gone. The ability to carry an entire team -- gone.
I struggle with this complex. I know I should enjoy nights like yesterday (and I do), but I end up depressed knowing that the end is near, rearing it's ugly head upon the minds of (pessimistic) Spurs fans.
The Spurs know it. I know it. Timmy knows it.
I just wish it would never have to end.