Friday, April 13, 2007

who said the spurs are boring?


sometimes, when you're writing a funny blog, it's not a shame to waste
an entire column on a rebuttal.
but when i keep hearing, seeing and breathing that some fans (mostly
from the city in arizona) claim that the spurs are playing boring
basketball and "those two best teams" are far far superior to them...
i mean, we can't let that slide.
can we send them all to jail for raving lunatics?
how can somebody call themselves an nba fan, then desecrate one of
the finest franchises in the sports world?
on sunday morning, i was reading a charley rosen blog and here's the
first mail from a guy nicknamed 'a rod' (btw, from the city in
arizona):
*allow me to say that the spurs are an excellent defensive team, but
only when duncan is on the floor.
without him they are an average defensive team.
this revelation can be exploited by any team that runs and has quick
forwards who can take it to the hole.
okay, the spurs will stay home on the shooters, but eventually duncan
will have to sit either because he tires out or gets into foul
trouble.
(NOW - PAY ATTENTION) my heart truly aches for any spurs fans who must
endure the boring "basketball fundamentals camp" night in and night
out.
i know it works and they win, but it must be tough to watch.*
here's charley's response (he's the best, as ever):
*allow me to say that the suns are an excellent offensive team, but
only when nash is on the floor.
anyhow, it's ludicrous to think that (given a phoenix-san antonio
playoff matchup) the suns will be able to take control of any game
during the six minutes or so that duncan will be on the bench.
what about the other 42 minutes?
and even without duncan, the spurs are still much better defensively
than the mavs.
but the kicker in your question is your feeling that the spurs play
"boring" basketball.
i guess entertainment is more important to you than winning.
this is an extremely superficial view of the game, one however, that
has been earnestly promoted by david stern and his bottom line
minions.
there's no question that nash and company are supremely talented in
certain aspects of the game.
and watching them can certainly be fun — especially when regular-season
opponents lack the time to fully prepare to play them.
but teams that don't defend and can't play effective half-court offense
do not win championships.
and winning championships is what the game is all about.
harum-scarum hoops appeals to know-nothing (or, to be charitable,
know-little) fans.
it's an easy sell from november to april.
but a hard sell in june.*
whoops, you weren't supposed to know that "those two best teams" have
ZERO c'ships in the last 233 years...
now let's prove that the spurs DON'T play boring ball.
if you still don't believe me... well, the evidence lies in higher
understanding of the game.
i know it's tough to get there... and MY HEART TRULY ACHES for the ones
who'll never get there.
sure, "your" players might jump higher.
they're more athletic.
they devote more energy on the offensive end.
they're maybe even a little more charismatic, although this is
questionable.
(this is another story but i sorely miss those days where players had
to be separated three times during one game... and one of the
mike guys started to scream: *you could feel this coming!* and the
second one added: *y'know, i guessed it when i saw rodman's yellow
head coming on the court.*
where's that genuine antipathy in the air all game in today's nba?
(hard to see it even in the playoffs.)
remember when it was okay to hate your opponents?
where's that physical play in a good way?
...fouls happened because players were playing hard and making
statements, not because they had no clue what they were doing.
(i'm not referring to cheapshots and trash talking.)
now?
players are too concerned about picking up flagrants, so you rarely see
teams banging bodies like the old days.
the team showing to their opponent that they wouldn't back down.
an eye for an eye.
now?
you see a man dribbling against a "defender", who's dropping like a fly
when he's touched by hair.
well, you won't see the same level of competitiveness again, not with
the EXCESSIVE rule changes.
it wasn't just basketball - they were battles.
anyone who was around back then knows what i mean.
now i'm completely out of the way, by the way...)
you don't see like tony parker is attacking the hoop?
you don't see manu ginobili's crazy (and successful) drives?
you don't see tim duncan's polished moves in the paint?
you don't see like bruce bowen is hounding his man?
you don't see that 'cisco elson is the fastest 7-footer in the league?
you don't see bones barry's delicious stroke?
you don't see mike finley burying fin-esque jumpers?
you don't see rocket bonner's all-out-all-time hustle?
you don't see like fabio oberto's fundamentals?
you don't see like jacque vaughn is setting the team on the floor?
you don't see beno udrih's glimpses of great awareness?
you don't see big shot horry's ability to hit when a hit is needed?
you don't see james white's upside?
you don't see they work like a TEAM, defensively and offensively?
they move the ball and look for one another.
i know you love, enjoy watching individual players over everything
else... but it shouldn't be that way.
regardless, one thing's for sure... know-little fans will never be able
to see the teamwork, playing the right way, even when they score 90
points.
they just wanna see 120 points and lot of dunks.
i have no problem with that, but don't EVER say that the spurs are a
boring team because it's a borderline act of blasphemy.
absolutely.
(well, if it ain't a blasphemy, at least when you say it, you've got a
free ticket to know-little-hoops-fan train.
you betcha.)

p.s.: prom queens?
there is no way to do full justice to the analogy without the hand
gestures and sound effects, but hornets coach byron scott found a
unique way to describe the situation the spurs are in as the playoff
matchups take shape over the next couple of weeks.
think back to your high school days, scott said, when the best athletes
were trying to choose a prom date, focused mainly on the cheerleaders
and pom pon girls, while overlooking a girl with a great figure, but
with a bad hairdo and wardrobe.
*she's got glasses on and her hair is all up in a bun and she's got
these baggy clothes on,* scott said, not even trying to suppress his
laughter.
*then she goes to the prom and everyone says, 'wow, who the heck is
that?'.
that's the spurs.* (-johnny ludden)
p.s.2: when watching an athlete live is a totally different experience
than watching him on tv, david robinson was my favorite example
because he'd glide onto the court for pregame warmups and you'd feel
everyone staring at him and thinking the same thing: *holy crap, that
guy is a physical SPECIMEN*.
then the game would start and he'd zoom around like a shooting guard
in a 7-footer's body for 48 minutes.
just awesome to watch.
if you were asked to build a center from scratch, you'd build david
robinson and call it a day.
sadly, the same thing that made him such a valuable superstar for nba
purposes also made him a bit of an underachiever: he was too nice a
guy. (-bill simmons)
p.s.3: *to me, tim duncan's the most valuable player in the league,*
golden state point guard baron davis said.
hands down.
he's the ultimate team player that goes unnoticed.
i mean, yeah, he fills up the stat sheet... but it's all the little
stuff that he does and doesn't allow to happen.*
p.s.4: anyone who would prefer to play the heat or the raptors instead
of the banged-up wizards would have to be crazy. (-mike kahn)
p.s.5: *we have great playmakers on our team and they're setting the
table.
i'm just getting to the table and eating,* said michael finley.
p.s.6: on my ncaa bracket, i picked ohio st. to win the whole thing...
i almost guessed the winner!
congrats to florida.

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Apr 13 2007 10:25AM

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