Thursday, June 7, 2007

NBA Finals Preview - A Letter to Spurs Fans

Dear Spurs Fans,

First of all congratulations on reaching the NBA Finals again! It must be really exciting to be a fan of such a great team. Tonight, as you inevitably work your way towards your 4th title in 8 years, I want you to tell you two things:

1.) Your team is one of the greatest basketball teams of all-time, and...

2.) Everyone else in the nation hates them.

I know what you're thinking. "No they don't! They play team basketball, the way it was meant to be played!" And you are right about that. They play together, they play unselfishly, they play great defense.... and everyone else hates them.

I know you don't want to believe me. You think I am just a bitter fan of a team vanquished by your mighty Spurs. You know what? You're right about that also. The Spurs systematically destroyed my beloved Nuggets in five games in the first round. It was close in a few games, buy your Spurs were easily the superior team. I can admit that. But you know what? It's not just me. Everyone else in the nation still hates them too.

"How can this be?" You are thinking to yourselves right now. "We aren't as boring as everyone says we are. We actually play an exciting style of basketball. We can play at a fast pace or slow it down, we have the ability to make dazzling passes and impossible drives to the basket. We even dunk every once in a while!" These are all excellent and valid points Spurs Fans..... but everyone else still hates your team.

Do you want to know why everyone hates your team? It's because they have become the Yankees of basketball. A team on the level of the "Bad Boy" Pistons teams, the post World Series win Red Sox, the 49ers of the late 80's and the Dallas Cowboys of the early 90's.... even Duke basketball. I'm sorry. I know that last one hurt, but you need to hear this. This is what your team has become.

I know this is painful for you to hear. Because unlike the fans of those teams, you don't yet realize that you are one of the hated. You defiantly believe that others should love your Spurs. And maybe they should.... but they don't. They hate them.

You might be asking yourselves right now, "How could it have come to this? How did we get here?" Well, it was a long process. It has been brewing for years. If you'll remember people have always been turned off by them. The Finals series against the Nets was the least viewed of all time. In fact, their 3 Finals appearances are all in the lowest 5 rated Finals ever. You see what I'm saying? People don't like watching your team.

But at the essence of the hatred are the individual players. Maybe that's why the rest of us don't care about the overall greatness of the Spurs. Your star player, Tim Duncan, is universally considered the greatest Power Forward who has ever lived. No one questions his greatness. But he is also universally considered the most boring superstar in the history of the NBA, and perhaps it's biggest whiner. Everyone thinks he is great. But they'd rather watch 25 other players in the league play before they'd watch him.

If we look at your entire roster we could say that it is made of all whiners, a couple of dirty players, one very dirty player, and one flopper. Together they make an incredible, virtually unbeatable team that is about to win it's fourth NBA title in the last 8 seasons. But everyone else hates them.

I know what your thinking about that last paragraph.

"They aren't all whiners!" Yes, they are.

"Bowen isn't a dirty player." Yes, he is.

"Ginobli is just a smart player!" Maybe, but he is a flopper.

You see, People hate floppers. People hate whiners. People hate dirty players.

People hate the Spurs.

I think it is time you embraced your team for what they are. I think your players need to embrace themselves for what they are. Like the Bad Boys embraced it. Like Duke fans embrace it. Like Yankees fans embrace it.

Embrace the hate Spurs fans.

You'll be happier in the end. All this inner conflict can't be good for you.

Once you've embraced it you can answer all the nay-sayers, all the haters, all of your other vanquished foes with a big smile. And you can say "I know Ginobli's a flopper.... and we still won."


Because at the end of the day, no matter what anyone else says about your team, no matter what they try to throw at you, you will be able to point to your 4 championship banners and tell them that your team is better than theirs.

Isn't that enough?

Best of Luck,


PS - I hate your team.