Sports Opinion & Analysis

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and the San Antonio Who Cares?

In NBA on May 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

A few days ago, CNN published an article wondering why no one was rooting for the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs. The article suggested the Spurs’ lack of popularity is due to the team being boring to watch. It argued that although we, the viewing public, scorn players like Lebron James or ‘Ron Artest’ (I refuse to give-in to this guy’s whims) for their bad behavior, we are actually all hypocrites. While we say we don’t like Lebron’s Decision, or ‘Artest’ jumping into the crowd, we still love it when it happens. It’s really us who have issues, the article states, not the team-oriented San Antonio Spurs. So why is it that we don’t love the Spurs, “nay, adore them?”

In light of the Spur’s 19th straight win Sunday, which puts the team three games away from being back into the NBA Finals for the fifth time in thirteen years, I thought it was time to reflect on why we, the viewing public, aren’t just indifferent to the team from Texas, but why most of us practically hate them. Despite the obvious “they’re boring to watch” (I don’t care how much CNN tries to spin that fact; just watch any Spurs game since Greg Popovich started coaching the team. I have a few on DVR, which I watch late at night when I’m having trouble sleeping) here’s a few more reasons.

#1: Tony Parker

Insert “I embody every French stereotype joke” here.

I know it’s not the most politically correct thing to say, but Americans have a bias against the French. It’s stupid and petty, but it still exists, even if only on a subconscious level. Fair or not, we all grew up hearing stories from our elders on how we had to “go over there” and “save their asses in World War 2.” Or we all laughed how Pepe Le Pew was a rapist. It might not be fair, but being French was still a strike against Parker before he went off and married one of the most beautiful women in the world during the height of her popularity. It was as if we were all sitting around Buffalo Wild Wings one day, watching the playoffs, and then it occurred to us how desperately we wished we could be like the little guy who flops every time an angel breathes on him, and how much we really hated ourselves because of that.

Fortunately, our feelings were vindicated a few years later when Longoria divorced Parker, because Parker was not only having an affair, but having an affair with a teammate’s wife. Maybe Le Pew isn’t so bad after all, right? The short of it is that Tony Parker is a bad person.

#2: Americans don’t like soccer

“What do you mean I can’t just fall down and cry? Come on!”

If the Spurs do in fact win a fifth championship, this could easily be titled “Manu Ginobili Wins Fifth Academy Award.” Nobody flops like Manu. To be fair, he’s really good at it. It’s as if he spent his youth locked away in a convent, where everyday he had to master his craft. If flopping and crying and whining and withering in pain until magically cured seconds later, when he drives hard for a lay-up, or complaining about ever little imaginary foul is an art, Manu Ginobili is the Mona Lisa. He’s a soccer player in a basketball jersey, and there’s a reason why Americans only watch that sport ever four years.

#3: Sins of the Past

“Sorry if you can’t hear anything over my bow-tie.”

Over the last thirteen years, the Spurs have been the dirtiest team in the NBA. From pre-bowtie Bruce Bowen karate kicking Wally Szczerbiak in the face, to kicking Chris Paul while he was down, to kicking at Amar’e Stoudemire’s feet in midair (okay, enough with Bruce Bowen), to Robert Horry’s hockey check of Steve Nash, the Spurs have built themselves a nasty reputation over the years. Some call it scrappy, some hard playing, but the fact of the matter is, when you look at all the evidence, it’s nothing more than dirty basketball. Throw in the fact that Tim Donaghy refereed the game that Horry checked Nash, and you also have a team that not only acts like they should be allowed to play above the rules, but thanks to some help, can.

“I got money on this thing, I GOT MONEY ON THIS THING!”

There are plenty of reasons why no one outside San Antonio roots for the Spurs, and none of them are because the viewing public is a bunch of ill-informed hypocrites. For all the spite Miami got directed toward them because of the way they obtained ‘The Big Three,’ the Heat are the a bunch of nice, relatable guys in comparison.


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