I wasn’t happy last night. The Suns dropped game 6, and in doing so, the series. They deserved to lose last night. They didn’t, however, deserve to lose a couple of the previous games, but did, due to circumstances beyond their control, namely the knees, forearms, heads, and elbows of the San Antonio Spurs.
The city of San Antonio, still smarting from their loss at the Alamo, have since taken a different approach. They no longer wait for the brutality to come to them, rather they are the instigators and the leaders of the charge.
I was unhappy last night, but in addition to feeling the loss of my team, I lost something else. I no longer have any respect for the Spurs.
I used to like the Spurs, which is hard to admit for a born and raised Suns fan. Of course, the main reason for my affection was the one and only Mr. Sean Elliot. Being an Arizona alumni, baptised in the rivers of red and blue, I tend to follow and enjoy all ex-Wildcats, but Elliot, he was the first of the big ones, and he set the bar high.
The Spurs, with the addition of David Robinson, were a class act. They were a team that played excellent basketball and did even greater things off of the court. They were gentlemen. In the world of professional sports, where character is often overlooked for skill, it was refreshing to watch a team that embodied both.
This playoff series woke me to the fact that that time is but a memory. They are no longer the stuff of role-models, but a team of cowards and dirty plays. They are to the NBA what the Utah Jazz were under the command of Karl Malone and John Stockton, the two dirtiest players to play in the modern era.
Of course, there were players that played rougher and nastier, but they never pretended to be doing otherwise. Rodman and Laimbeer did not hide the fact that they were mean and ruthless. They embraced it.
Now, the Duncans, Bowens, Ginobilis, and Horrys of the world, are resorting to jailhouse rules, and sadly, they are getting away with it. They hit hard and low. Horry, a bully from back in the day, is probably the most obvious, while Duncan may be the least of them. Perhaps he still has a bit of good from his training along the Jedi-master Robinson. Perhaps he hasn’t turned entirely. He sure whines like a little bitch though.
Alas, there is nothing for a Suns fan to do about it now. One can only hope that The Emperor, aka David Stern, is able to analyze the series and correct some of the rulings that serve as loopholes for dirty players. That would be the good that comes from a bad situation.
In the meantime, basketball is over and I can start focusing on baseball and counting down the days until football returns. Maybe I’ll go do something outside.