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Four for Four!

In my past I made the mistake of believing the good things in life only came at a price. I believed Dostoyevsky's portrayal of suffering as an experience to be valued. And though I still understand the notion of valuing ones own hard work, determination and perseverance, I am a different person now.

The Spurs had an easier road through the playoffs this year compared to previous championship seasons. They were blessed with few injuries and had the good fortune of watching their biggest obstacle getting bounced in the first round. Despite all this I agree with Tim:

"This one's sweeter," Duncan said.

As a fan my reason is simple: I LOVE this team.

I don't care if the fans of every other team hate them. I don't care if they are labeled as dirty, ugly, boring, thugs or floppers. I don't care if they fail to fit some arbitrary definition of a dynasty. The media, the fans, the rest of the NBA players and coaches can all piss the hell off.

Because I love this team, we love this team, and we're the champs. Four for four!

(Express-News / Edward A. Ornelas)

Why do I love this team?

Well, for starters, I love the fact that the players actually seem to genuinely like each other. When's the last time you even heard a rumor about two Spurs not getting along?

I love that the Spurs ended the season winning ten of their last eleven. I love that they swept the clearly inferior team from the clearly inferior conference and never once looked worried, rattled or even phased.

I love that Popovich didn't say one thing during the trophy presentation. He doesn't care because it's simply not about that for him.

I love that Michael Finley got the ring he deserves. I know I threw him under the bus towards the end of the season, but I never disliked the man. He always played hard and within the system. He never complained and was always quick to praise his teammates and the Spurs organization. His play definitely improved at the end of the season, peaking with his ridiculous 8 threes and 26 points in the close-out game against the Nuggets. We won't forget that Fin. Nor will we forget you holding the championship game ball and saying "I might just put it in the bed
between me and my wife."

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

I love that Bruce Bowen held Lebron James to 32-90 in the Finals. 32-90. And he did it while playing over 40 minutes a game, committing a total of only 7 fouls and never once giving anyone any reason to question the cleanliness of his play.

(AP Photo / Amy Sancetta)

I love that Fabricio Oberto came up with multiple big plays in the fourth quarter. I love that I got the feeling he had been there before. I love that a 32 year old Argentinian with minimal NBA-level basketball skills can mesh so well with a championship team.

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

I love that Jacque Vaughn didn't manage to screw this up for us. Just kidding Jacque. You were prepared to do your part every night and brought ceaseless energy. God. I'm sounding like Mark Jackson.

I love that Manu Ginobili came back after a miserable game 3 performance and took it to the Cavs the entire fourth quarter, scoring 14 of the Spurs 23 points. I love that he jumped past a pump-faking Damon Jones with 8 seconds to play and up six, and instead of letting him take a wide open three he contested the shot from behind, getting all ball but getting called for a foul. I loved the look on Pop's face. I love that Pop understands that you just have to let Manu be Manu. He doesn't ever give in.

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

I love that Tim shot the ball horribly but still finished +6 for the game. That's Tim Duncan in a nutshell. He's like an iceberg: the most impressive part of his game is missed by most fans who don't look deeper. Holy crap. Am I a freaking genius or what? He's The Iceberg from now on.

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

I love that Tony Parker convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was the rightful winner of the MVP award. I love that the man absolutely torched Cleveland for three quarters and then selflessly gave the ball up in the fourth, when the Cavs were dumb enough to put Damon Jones on Manu. I love that he shot 57% for the series and even pulled down 5 boards a game. And I especially loved that move in the second quarter when he faked the crossover on Gibson and nearly sending the poor rook sprawling. I love that I giggled like a school when that happened. I love that when he was being presented the MVP award you could see his fiance Eva crying and taking pictures. I love that they seem to really love each other. For all the talk about beautiful a couple they are, and for all the talk about how efficient a team the Spurs are, people seem to be missing out on what's important: the love.

(AP Photo / Eric Gay)

It's about the love people.

And winning championships. Four of them, to be exact.