The Spurs aren’t a dirty team. Collectively, they don’t go into games thinking that they need to prove they can beat up a team and prove that they’re tougher, they’re just a team made up of superior players who occasionally win championships, never accept that they fouled somebody without bringing along a chorus of sweaty, bulgy-eyed violins, and when the going gets tough, they have been known to do their best to injure the biggest threat from the other team.

In short, there’s nothing to like about them if you’re a casual fan and absolutely nothing to like about them if your team is playing against them.

It should come as no surprise that Sully is a Spurs fan. San Antonio is, after all, within 15 states of where he grew up (Tucson, AZ), although his state had and continues to house its own NBA team.

In this series alone, Robert Horry decided he didn’t like that Steve Nash made the horrifying decision to start dribbling the ball while running faster than Horry could to keep up with him, Bruce Bowen has both kneed Steve Nash in the nuts and tried to clip the back of Amare Stoudemire as he was coming down, and Manu Ginobli commits roughly 37 fouls over the course of the game.

I’m a Laker fan and during the Lakers’ heyday, Shaq obviously barreled over people, (including the Spurs countless times), but that’s way more a case of a combination of Shaq getting calls and the refs not knowing if a defender had position or was in the safe area due to Shaq being so quick for his size (yes, at one point, he was quick). The difference is that Shaq’s dominance was interesting to the casual fan. Shaq didn’t whine, Shaq didn’t try to score by taking out the other team’s best low post defender, he just tried to explode using his obvious physical advantages.

Admittedly, Tim Duncan‘s skill set makes him the best power forward in basketball and is a surefire first-ballot hall of famer, but a lasting legacy of his will be that his face is associated with the death of the casual NBA fan. This isn’t his fault, in many ways he’s very much like Pete Sampras, being criticized for not being flashy or exciting, merely fundamentally better at playing in the low post than everybody else (since Shaq got old). The difference, of course, is that Pete Sampras didn’t cry or whine for calls ALL THE TIME.

The main face behind the big storyline of “Are the Spurs dirty?” is Bruce Bowen. I’ll clear this up for you if you were at all on the fence: Bruce Bowen is a dirty player. He’s been a dirty player for years. It’s what makes a player of his age alleged “excellent” at playing defense. If Ray Allen comes out and calls you out for trying to injure you during a game, which he did, you’re dirty. He doesn’t say anything to anyone (other than an occasional WNBA commercial), and he called Bowen out.

What’s even worse about Bowen (and now Horry) is that people in the media stand up for him because they like him as a person and as an interview, projecting even brighter what’s wrong with a lot of sports media. Wilbon on PTI comes to Bowen’s defense because he likes him and calls him a “student of the game,” and goes as far as to say that he “hopes he’s not dirty.” This is more of a different story about why reporters shouldn’t allow their relationships to grow personal with the athletes to cover because of skewed opinions, but it does tie in perfectly.

In Horry’s case, Kiki Vandeweghe called Horry’s hip check of Nash into the scorer’s bench “uncharacteristic,” probably because Vandeweghe wants to be hired as a GM as soon as possible. I don’t know too much about Robert Horry as a person, I do remember that he wanted to play in Texas when he was with the Lakers because his daughter was sick there. He got his wish a few years ago, and while his flagrant-2 on Nash may not have been characteristic for who Horry used to be, but it certain is for who he is now – a San Antonio Spur.

Explore posts in the same categories: Lakers, NBA, Sully

One Comment on “SpurBall”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Good call pointing out the inconsistencies in the teams Sully roots for. The Spurs, Eagles, and Wildcats. Sounds like his parents bought him some sports stuff from goodwill when he was a kid and he became of a fan of the teams that graced his underwear.

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