A Champ On Which We Can All Agree (To Hate)
This year’s NBA Playoffs have been great. We’ve seen a number one seed go down in the first round (Bulls), the Lakers implode (always fun), the rebirth of one of the sport’s greatest rivalries (Celtics – Sixers), the birth of what could be the league’s next dynasty — or next late 90s/ early 00s Sacramento Kings — (Oklahoma City), and the sport’s best player taking his game to the next level (LeBron). That’s why it’s such a shame that these playoffs are going to end in the least compelling way possible: a championship for the San Antonio Spurs, the blandest, least dominant “dominant” team in NBA history. Think about it, every other possible outcome is way more exciting than the Spur’s winning. If the Heat win, it’s LeBron’s coronation, he’ll cement his legacy, and Skip Bayless will have one less talking point. If the Thunder win, it’s the birth of a potential dynasty and Kevin Durant potentially surpasses LeBron as the game’s best player (Kobe remains in the conversation). If the Celtics win it’s a last hurrah for three Hall of Famers, who rejuvenated the Association’s most storied franchise, plus riot potential. The Spurs? Another championship for a consistent, but boring team that never won two in a row and would have been stomped by any of the teams that won the title between theirs. No one wants to see that. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable.
Look at how the remaining teams and how they match up with the Spurs. The Thunder have already shown that they can’t beat San Antonio, they haven’t even come close in two games. The Heat don’t have the depth or the big men to check Tim Duncan, and as last night showed, they have trouble defending speedy point guards like Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker. The Spurs, meanwhile, have the depth, pieces, and scheme to successfully contain James and Dwayne Wade. The Celtics probably match up best with the Spurs since Kevin Garnett is really the only player left in these playoffs capable of defending Duncan and Rondo owns Parker, but their roster is too thin and they’re not healthy enough to get by Miami. So yeah, the Spurs are the smart money to win it all.
Anyway, since we’re going to be stuck listening to and reading hagiographies of the Spurs for the next few weeks, I may as well take this opportunity to spew some bile on the whole affair by relentlessly hating on their entire roster. Admittedly the task is a bit harder since the Spurs no longer employ Bruce Bowen, a player whose only apparent skill was to try to physically injure his opponents, but I’ll try my best.
PG: Tony Parker: French. Allegedly slept with teammate Brent Barry’s wife. French.
SG: Daniel Green: Don’t lie, you wouldn’t recognize Danny Green if you saw him on the street. About as bland and faceless a player as you can come up with.
C: Boris Diaw: Name makes him seem Russian. Is actually French.
PF: Tim Duncan: For a player who is constantly celebrated as Fundamentally Sound and Plays the Game the Right Way ™, Duncan sure is a little bitch. In Tim Duncan’s mind, he has never committed a single foul. Marvel as he reacts the exact same way to every whistle, by turning his palms up and bugging his eyes out a full centimeter. Also, unless he’s calling “bank” every time, those shots shouldn’t count.
SF: Kawhi Leonard: What?! I don’t even….
Manu Ginobili: Constantly cited as counter-evidence for the Spurs being boring despite the fact that one player does not make a team exciting on his own (it’s a style thing). Has done more than any other player — except perhaps Vlade Divac — to spur the proliferation of soccer-style flopping in the NBA. Male pattern baldness.
Tiago Splitter: Has a dumb name.
Stephen Jackson: The Palace Brawl is unforgivable. Probably brings a gun with him to the supermarket.
DeJuan Blair: Played at Pittsburgh. Has no ACLs. I can literally hear bones grinding together in my mind when I watch Blair play. You’re welcome for me ruining your future viewing experiences.
Matt Bonner: Ginger. Still probably the most likable player on this team, which says a lot.
Gary Neal, Patrick Mills, Cory Joseph, James Anderson: As far as I’m concerned, these aren’t actually players, just names that Gregg Popovich invented. I defy you to name me one fact about any of these people without googling.
So there you have it, indisputable scientific evidence that the Spurs suck. Enjoy the rest of the playoffs.