As a Spurs fan, there are seven words that I will always regret ever saying: "A lot can happen in twenty-eight seconds." And, well…you know the story. Spurs Nation was devastated, so we can only imagine how our beloved Spurs felt. Tracy MacGrady, who was minimal at best during the 2013 NBA Finals, was later quoted saying that he could "taste the champagne" when that 28-second mark hit.
Instead, he and the rest of Spurs Nation were left dehydrated, desperately thirsty during this now-seven-year championship drought. Our Spurs have had regular season success throughout all of these years, and we fans have been grateful for it. We rejoice at the 50-win seasons. We revel in the fact that we have only had one coach for almost 20 years. We revere the longevity of the "Big 3". We almost take for granted the consistency that our Spurs have had for these nearly 20 years.
And yet, there has always been this itch that we can’t quite scratch, this feeling that we can’t quite shake: emptiness. With all the regular season success, it has been long since the last time the city of San Antonio felt the euphoria of a championship run. We all hoped that longing would be filled last year, but thanks to one bald guy and another receding-hairline guy, we were once again left with our hands empty. That empty feeling within us hasn’t subsided, either.
Another spectacular Spurs regular season has passed, another playoff season has arrived. And our Spurs look good. Not just regular season good, but 60-win-championship good. I wouldn’t go so far as to make a prediction about these playoffs because, well, I’m superstitious about these things. (See Wonder, Stevie.) But, there is something different about these playoffs, isn’t there? Maybe it’s the fact that this postseason isn’t just about winning a championship, as it was in the past. It’s about redemption. It’s about righting all the wrongs of the past few playoff runs. It’s about filling that empty feeling that has plagued Spurs Nation and its beloved Spurs for seven years.
It’s about drinking the champagne. You’ve got to admit: it’s got a pretty good taste.