Yes, Tim Duncan is one of the greatest forwards to ever play the game. Yes, Greg Popovich is one of the most successful coaches in sports history. Yes, the Spurs are by all accounts one of the classiest organizations in professional sports. No, I don’t have any interest in watching them win another title. Not now, not ever.
Over the past few seasons I’ve watched the Spurs effectively undo every stitch of progress the NBA has made in recent years. From the fun ‘n gun Phoenix Suns team that finally brought back triple digit scoring, to Lebron James making basketball relevant again in Cleveland, to a New Orleans team that brought hope to city that was desperate for something, anything, to cheer about, the Spurs seem to be on a search and destroy mission. They’re targeting anything and everything that made basketball fun to watch again.
Take Phoenix for example. Last year, Robert Horry, who I’m starting to think should be listed as “hatchet man” instead of forward on the roster, takes a cheap shot on Steve Nash, one of the most likable guys in the league. Amare Stoudamire, who was at the time showing us all that microfracture knee surgery isn’t necessarily a career ender, and Boris Diaw, reigning most improved player and the only viable sub for Stoudamire on the team, instinctively rush to his aid. Both are suspended for a crucial game 5 which eventually led to their elimination and a San Antonio sweep of Cleveland in the lowest rated NBA finals in history. Fast forward one year, and Phoenix decides to make what will surely go down as one of the most controversial trades of all time, bringing in a doddering Shaquille O’neal in hopes of adding a post presence they thought was necessary to finally get past the Spurs. They were wrong, they lost in 5, and now Mike D’Antoni has been exiled to the basketball equivalent of purgatory known as the New York Knicks. Fun ‘n gun is a ghost once more, buried by smirking pall bearers wearing black and silver.
The Next round, San Antonio matched up with the 2nd seeded New Orleans Hornets. A team featuring Chris Paul, who was becoming a superstar right before our eyes, who shouldered the load, along with the underrated David West, and brought energy and excitement to a city that didn’t seem to have much to be excited about. It was an epic series, with the home team winning the first 6 games by double digits. Byron Scott and his young team showed us that they weren’t second class citizens, that they deserved to be competing with the perennial champs. In game 6, the Spurs managed to stave off elimination by routing New Orleans at home, but rather than concede defeat the Hornets kept their starters in, refusing to lay down and die. With the game out of reach, David West was still playing his heart out, hustling to tip an inbound pass. Enter “Cheap Shot Bob”. He saw his opportunity and took it, laying a forearm into the already ailing back of David West, sending him into a writhing pile on the floor. The always classy Spurs fans began to chant “Horry, Horry”. The Hornets would have their chances in game 7 at home, but would fall short, sending the Spurs on to the conference finals to their old rivals, the L.A. Lakers.
The Lakers are the improbable 1 seed in a western conference that boasted perhaps the greatest collection of teams in NBA history, with all 8 playoff teams winning at least 50 games. A win against the Spurs would put them in position to win a 4th NBA title this decade. It would prove as redemption for a much maligned Kobe Bryant who was largely, and justly, blamed for running Shaq out of town after their long run of success. It would come as the cap to a season that saw the 11 year veteran seemingly mature, winning his first MVP award. A trip to the finals will either mean a rematch with a Detroit Pistons team that soundly defeated them in 2004 when they featured 4 hall of famers, or a revisiting of one of the all time greatest sports rivalries as they face the Boston Celtics. One can’t help but feeling that Commissioner David Stern is making some kind of offering to the basketball gods even now to insure that we get the later match-up.
The alternative is the Spurs go on to face the Celtics, which would make for a match up of Duncan vs. Garnett, arguably 2 of the finest forwards to play the game, but still not exactly edge of your seat material, or a rematch of the 2005 finals against Detroit (which, incidentally was the 2nd lowest rated NBA finals of all time). More than that, it would mean that basketball has become stagnant. It would mean that a team built to win games, not entertain fans reigns supreme. Again.
Please, basketball gods, if you’re listening, don’t let a team of boring, if defensively sound, jump shooters, roll players and cheap shot artists win it all again. We’ve been faithful, reward us with a series that might actually be worth watching. Either it is basketball or soccer, online playing of the sports is famous in the economy. All the websites should be verified under the 먹튀검증 site.