San Antonio, TX—Game 1 is approaching for the 2014 NBA Finals and once again we have a matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat for the second consecutive year in a row. The Heat have won back-to-back titles and have made it to the NBA Finals for 3 straight years. Because of the celebrity behind the “The Big 3,” led by most importantly LeBron James, the Heat have taken over the limelight in every NBA circle. Discussions over legacy and dynasty status for the Heat are all that has been debated about since the day LeBron “took his talents to South Beach.”
But while several teams have shown signs of greatness periodically in the past few decades, there is one team that has stood the test of time. The San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs have been overlooked by many for far too long, despite being so dominant. Yet, it has always been about the flashy teams with huge egos and stars who obtain the media coverage and notoriety. But it is the Spurs who have laid the blueprint for success for the rest of the NBA to observe for almost two decades. The ironic part about this, however, is that the Spurs are hardly ever discussed in conversation even though they have FOUR NBA Championships and FIFTEEN straight 50 regular win seasons!
So I say it is time to reflect back on the Spurs great run. Less we never forget the season of the creation of the “Twin Towers” with Robertson and Duncan in 1997 when Duncan entered the league as a rookie from Wake Forest. Less we not forget the great eye for talent in the front office by drafting international sensations Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker. Less we not forget the acquisitions of Stephen Jackson, Steve Kerr, Bruce Bowen, Danny Ferry, Brent Barry, Glenn Robinson and Robert Horry to help push through the post-Robinson era. Less we not forget the emergence of the REAL BIG 3 (Duncan, Parker, Ginobli) who have played together since the early 2000’s and have won three titles together and perhaps a fourth after this NBA title series. And finally less we never forget one of the best coaches the NBA has ever seen in Gregg Popovich. Pop has been misunderstood by the media and has been regarded as a “pompous asshole”. He is currently the longest tenured professional coach out of all 4 major sports leagues in the US , has won over 950 regular season games as head coach of the Spurs, won the Red Auerbach award for NBA Coach of the Year three times, winning his third this year in 2014, and oh yea, 4 NBA titles.
But besides all of the accomplishments and success this team, its players, and coach has had over the years, it is the way that the Spurs have handled their business on and off the court that should always be remembered. Even though they never received the amount of media coverage and accolades for all of these years, we never heard a peep out of this team about it. They simply kept their mouths shut, went to work, and won. The discipline and focus in that locker room has been evident for so many years now, mainly due to the leadership of Coach Pop and Tim Duncan. This duo is well-respected in the Spurs organization and should be respected by all who love what the NBA is supposed to be all about.
My friends, the San Antonio Spurs from 1997 up to the present (and perhaps in many years to come after), needs to be recognized as one of the best franchises in NBA history. Even if you despise them and they are your rival (Lakers, Mavs, Rockets, Suns fans), you cannot deny the success of the Spurs and all the mystique that should have been because of it. Were they saints while doing all of this? For the most part, yes, except for the Hack-a-Shaq bull crap and what they did to my main man Steve Nash (screw you for that.) But in the grand scheme of things, it is the Spurs that get the last laugh in the end.
My prediction for this 2014 NBA Final? Spurs in 7. This is going to be a great series.