Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Great Moments In Realizing San Antonio Is Really Good (Again)

It has become increasingly clear that the dominant narrative of the upcoming NBA Finals is going to be "why don't we like San Antonio more?"

It's an old song, one we've heard before, and it's one reporters and pundits rediscover every time the Spurs make some noise in the playoffs. Basically, it goes like this: Gosh, we keep on talking about how we want teams that play fundamental ball and don't have any divas or criminals, and yet when one comes along like San Antonio, nobody wants to talk about them!"

On a certain level, that's entirely accurate. The sort of eerily consistent excellence the Spurs churn out year after year, buttressing stars like Tim Duncan with the Matt Barneses of the world, is reminiscent of the 1990s-era Atlanta Braves in its clockwork regularity. At this point, they're expected to win 50+ games every year, and to do so quietly, efficiently, and away from major television markets. And because the players seem to respect their coach, stay out of the police blotters and non-sports-section headlines, and don't routinely say stupid crap in public, they have been deemed "boring". Because, let's face it, speculating over whether Dwyane Wade is the dirtiest or just the second-dirtiest player in the NBA (Nazr Mohammed! Come on down!) drives way more clicks and SportsCenter views than "Tim Duncan likes cheese". For all the media attention they garner, the Spurs might as well take the season off and just show up in time for the customary demolition of their first round opponent.

In fact, the only time we get the Spurs on our radar is when media types start geshrying over the the fact that the Spurs aren't on anyone's radar, and ain't that a shame. Which is all well and good and accurate, except the same guys who bitch and moan about nobody talking about the Spurs are the ones who get paid to talk about sports all the damn time, and if they want to talk about the damn Spurs, they might be able to find a few minutes here and there. But hey, it's more fun to drag out the old reliable talking point every May instead of correcting the situation they're ostensibly complaining about.

That might, after all, require self-awareness, and goodness knows, we can't have any of that.

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