Monday, May 6, 2013

Love is Blindness : A Case for the San Antonio Spurs

by Steve Coulter 

With Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals series between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs only hours away, the media conglomerates — I’m looking at you ESPN and TNT — have begin to blindly and redundantly hype this as a battle of “young and old.”

I know there isn’t exactly a counter argument to suggest the media companies are wrong with this citation as the Warriors are led by the exciting and titillating Stephen Curry, who has risen into the top 10 overall player rankings this postseason, and one of the league’s bravest new coaches — Mark Jackson. Meanwhile, the timeless and selfless Tim Duncan anchors the Spurs as one of the best four coaches to ever stand on a NBA sideline — Greg Popovich — guides them like a guru on yet another postseason quest.

Despite the on-the-surface precision of the pundit’s pre-series analysis, I refuse to give into this notion that age will determine the series outcome.

The Spurs may prove to be victorious because of their experience and the Warriors may pull of the upset to prove fresh legs can carry you a long way in the NBA; however, it doesn’t change the fact I refuse to buy into this rhetoric of young and old.

Why? Because it spawns blind, biased and uneven love towards the Warriors camp and eschews any respect a real basketball fan should have for the Spurs and what they accomplished this season as an aging franchise.

Accepting old versus new as the banner for this series allows it to become David versus Goliath, even though that would be a colossal misjudgment.

Yes, the Spurs have won four titles under the Duncan-Popovich regime but can they really be considered heavy favorites in this second round series? I know they have been the epitome of success years over the past dozen or so years, while the Warriors have epitomized failure during that same stretch (and even longer); however, we are talking about 2013 and nothing else.

What the Spurs and the Warriors have been in the past has nothing to do with this series we are about to watch, but the experts would like to trick us into believing it does and that’s what I have a problem with — it’s just too damn easy to root for the Warriors.

They are fresh, full of excitement and pioneered by two of the more charismatic personalities of this NBA postseason. And to throw more wood into that fire — they have perhaps the best playoff home crowd and are led by a group of outcasts other than Curry (Andrew Bogut, Jarrett Jack, Richards Jefferson, etc.)

Although all of this may seem like just reasons to pull for the Golden State upset — and I’m sure that this is the reasoning behind 90% of fans rooting for the Blue and Gold to prevail — I would like to think there is more to the game of basketball than media hype and blind love.

Is Stephen Curry fun to watch? Yes. Is he a top 10 player now? Yes. Does this mean we have to root for him as he tries to topple this century’s greatest basketball dynasty? No.

There is no justification to cheering for Curry, only the disturbingly ignorant mindset of “I prefer Curry to Duncan” or “I like playing with the new toy better than the old toy.” These are such base and mundane arguments that to say they hold no water would be wasting words, but the hell with it — THESE ARGUMENTS HOLD NO WATER!

Give me another reason, please! Anything other than, “I want to root for the new superhero defeat the old one.” I can’t stand hearing it and if the Warriors win I know this will only continue to snowball uncontrollably.

Before it does, catch yourself. Realize that the media has spun you and captured your mind. You are not thinking clearly; rather, they are doing the thinking for you. You are not free in this type of media-controlled sporting environment, but you can be! Choose the Spurs.

They may not be sexy, they may not be new, but at least their head coach doesn’t go around spewing shit that his team winning was “Nothing But God.” Please, do not feed into this ignorant crap.

Do not follow this Sith Lord and his campaign against the league’s “hitman.” After all, this is a man’s game — or at least it used to be with Michael, Karl and Charles — and Golden State’s victory is just another signature moment in the downfall of the days of old, the days of, well, Tim Duncan.

Do you really want to see one of the game’s all time greatest lose to a bunch of whiny complainers who need media extravagance to lure fans to root for them?

I say ignore the hype and take a piss on the fire created by the ESPN’s and the TNT’s. This isn’t a battle of young and old, it’s a battle for our intelligence. Are we going to be left ignoring, cheering on a team blindly just because the media has made us believe in a stigma or are we going to stand our ground and root for the Big Fundamental?

I know I will at least be able to see the colors I’m wearing tonight, even if they’re only Silver and Black.

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