A player doesn't have to be evil to be despised. An oppenent need not be a horrible person to be rooted against. But I'll bet it doesn't hurt.
After a number of seasons where the Spurs in general, and Manu Ginobili specifically, were descried as whiners who complained after every play, and floppers who only succeeded because of their acting ability, now it's another team who's lept to the forefront of the common fan's consciousness to take the spot of the entitled athlete.
In the past few years, Manu has flopped less and less. Duncan has been isolated against his man fewer and fewer times a game. The lockdown defense which held the rest of the league to such low scoring totals and was called boring by the average talking head -- it's gone. And it its place is the league's top offense, which the league has finally decided is worthy to be promoted.
The Los Angeles Clippers took a full seven games to get past the Memphis Grizzlies, and as a result, the first games of the series will be a FOGASINI. But that's ok because it just means that there will be fewer days spent in LA than what is usual for the lowered seeded team in a second round series.
Now is the time when we turn our eyes to a new foe, and how long the series goes will determine just how hated the names Paul, Griffin, et al become in San Antonio.
Got a prediction, reaction, or strongly felt prejudice against fast sailing ships with long slender lines and overhanging bows? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.