A Spurs fan's greatest disappointment

[Our leader, Mr. Wilco, suggested I post the following, which was originally a comment I made in this Aaronstampler post.]

Game 6 was the greatest disappointment in my sports watching life. I think it will always be that way. The series of highly unlikely events that transpired in the last 28 seconds of that game will always sting.

I agree that had we won, the media would have quickly moved on to the Heat story. They were always going to be the popular story. History would have remembered Tim and Pop’s fifth, though. History will forget the 2013 Spurs the way it forgets all the runner-ups in sports. The only way to immortality is to be the last one standing. Even those Sonics, Jazz, and Suns teams are forgotten by all but the diehard NBA fans. It’s a damn shame, and a testament to our love of winners.

I haven’t followed the team for as long as some on this site, but I’ve been on board since the late nineties as a teenager, and have seen well over a thousand Spurs games, fervently followed at least 15 teams, and the 2012-13 team is my favorite by far. The individual story lines on the team were great. It was a roster filled with undrafted players, second round picks, scrap heap pickups, the loss of a fan favorite for the second season of the player of the future, the luckiest 57th pick of all time, a generational player, and a 28th pick that possessed unbelievable speed and a hell of a knack for finishing at the rim, but had very little else to speak of. If you asked me 5 years ago if Tony would make the Hall I might have laughed, now he seems like a sure fire first ballot guy assuming he plays at a high level for a couple more years.

The team was so much more than what they looked like on paper. The culture had the whole roster buying into the loss of ego, and the best for the team mentality. It was beautiful. The juxtaposition of the Spurs roster and the Heat roster was stupidly never really talked about in the media, though it was the most interesting storyline. Team vs. Stars, Fundamentals vs. Flash, even Old vs. New. Even knowing it will always sting, I wouldn’t trade last season for anything, other than the LOB.

It was such an enjoyable ride, even though it ended it heartbreak. I will never really want to read anything about game 6, much less have a non-Spurs fan bring it up. That is what happens when something wildly unlikely happens in a negative way to your team, and the deciding moments of that game have to be up there in terms of unlikely progressions of events even before you add to it the rarity of the damn Finals.

This site, justifiably and for some I am sure enlightening or thought provoking, has rehashed the game (and game 7), and I am sure they were done well, but I will never have the desire to read about it, to question what happened, to closely examine it. Perhaps I am just weak minded, perhaps I don’t want to read or hear about that fateful game because some don’t need to revisit past heartbreaks. Even if there were mistakes made, I personally don’t have the need to drag it back up. I’ve watched enough sports to know that crazy things happen, though this was the first time it happened to my team. I understand the desire and interest to talk about it, I don’t understand the negativity about the offseason moves that has been a staple of some here despite pretty much getting as close as is possible.

The boys will contend once again. We don’t know where they will end this season, but I think the roster is better, as are other Western conference powers. For some reason the loss in game 7 wasn’t really hard for me, I guess I had my catharsis after game 6. I haven’t really been sad about the Spurs this summer, where last summer the shock of losing to the Thunder after the first 2 games was something that took me a while to get over. That said, game 6 is sure to be a memory filled with pain and disappointment for the rest of my life, on a much higher level than .4 or Manu’s foul on Dirk, which on their own still have a large what if/disappointment level.

These last two seasons have been so much fun as a fan. It’s amazing that we are probably going to get another one in just 2 months. I’ve said it before, and it ain’t going out on a limb, but Timmy is going to do the damn thing again. It just seems impossible for me to predict any kind of significant production efficiency decline for the ageless one. Perhaps precedent will finally come into play for old Tim, but I don’t think so. He will continue to be the same Tim, maybe with some decreased minutes, but when he is on the court it would shock me if he didn’t produce the way he always has.

I’m not saying that Tim is the same player he was 10 years ago, he doesn’t demand the double teams he used to, and perhaps last years uptick in blocks was the result of more players challenging him, but while he has aged he has somehow been able to compensate for his diminished athleticism by adding new facets to his game-not that his game was ever a function of athleticism. Maybe father time will catch up to him, but I think that he will finish his contract playing at the efficiency level he always has. It sure would be a shame and an unlikely outcome for the most consistent guy who ever laced them up to have a significant drop off in his last couple years.

On to next season. We are lucky to have a franchise that is still vying for the damn title after 15 years. I don’t know about you guys, but I feel lucky and blessed to be in that position. To still have an 82 game season to watch the big 3 give it another go, to know that there is more than just an outside shot of a title next season, to know that Timmy, Tony, Manu, and Pop are going to come back hungry is exciting. There are probably only two seasons left, enjoy the big 3 and Pop while you can. Soak it in, relish the chemistry that can only come from playing together for 11 years, the NBA probably won’t see anything like it again.

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