May 18, 2007 by Stephen
The Spurs sure have created a frenzy in the sports universe during their series with the Phoenix Suns. Several things have been said about the Spurs that simply boggle the mind. First, the idea that the Spurs are “dirty” is just ludicrous. The Spurs simply play fundamental basketball – not flashy basketball (i.e. lots of offense and no defense). They play good, hard, aggressive defense. Bruce Bowen plays aggressive man defense and offensive “stars” don’t like that. The idea that Bowen would deliberately knee Steve Nash in the groin out in the open outside the three-point line is just crazy. Ironically, Nash got hurt because he was playing aggressive defense at the time. Robert Horry’s foul at the end of game four was a hard foul, but he clearly was not trying to hurt Nash. If he had been, Nash wouldn’t be playing in this series any longer. Nash (and Raja Bell for that matter) is as good a “flopper” as people claim Manu Ginobili is. The idea that Horry, a “scrub”, went after Nash to try to provoke the Suns’ stars into getting suspended is also crazy. Last I checked, Horry had six championship rings and Nash, Amare Stoudemire, and Boris Diaw had zero between the three of them. Horry is the Spurs’ most important bench player after Ginobili, much like Diaw is after Leandro Barbosa. The Spurs missed Horry in game five and will miss him in game six – make no mistake about that. All the literal blood drawn in this series has been drawn by the Suns – Nash’s head-butting of Tony Parker and Shawn Marion raking Ginobili’s eye. Yes, the Spurs are dirty!
Second, the idea that the NBA is trying to rig things in favor of the Spurs is just plain stupid. The Spurs are a great basketball team and organization, but they are boring for television. They don’t draw ratings. If the NBA wanted one of these teams to advance to the finals, it would be Phoenix. The Suns just aren’t ready yet. They may have better athletes, but the Spurs have the better team. It’s a shame that the respect for each other these teams started the series with has disappeared. The fault there lies with Stoudemire opening his mouth and calling the Spurs dirty and then the media for jumping on that band wagon. If Stoudemire had kept his mouth shut, who knows how the rest of the series would have played out.
Finally, in the midst of all the controversy, the one thing Spurs fans and Suns fans could agree on was that the Dallas Mavericks just aren’t ready to win a championship. In fact, they have a new logo that illustrates their strength as a basketball team: