Overtime: Spurs still doing what they do

There’s something about the San Antonio Spurs that keeps them on people’s radar while simultaneously leaving them one of the most underrated dynasties in sports history.

They’ve been in the playoffs 21 of the past 22 seasons. The only teams surpassing them in championships wins are the Lakers, Bulls and Celtics. When the Spurs went up against LeBron James and his precious Cavaliers in the 2007 Finals series, it was a straight sweep. I was in San Antonio at the time. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever bore witness to. If that doesn’t make a dynasty, I’m not sure what does.

But all San Antonians and real NBA fans know the Spurs’ success has always been crippled and cheated by the disrespect and dislike coming from NBA Commissioner David Stern.

Why? Because he says the team can’t be successfully marketed to a national audience.

That’s fine and dandy. If he’s going to be all about the money, a lot of people will side with him and say that’s his job. Great. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

But then why did his tune change when he fined the team $250,000 for resting healthy players Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green at the end of a six-game road trip? (That’s six games in eight days, and let’s be honest, the Spurs’ superstars aren’t exactly goslings any more.)

Why did he all of a sudden say, “the Spurs did a disservice to the league and our fans,” by refusing to put their exhausted stars up against the Heat?

His claims that Heat fans were just aching to get a look at the S.A. stars is a wash. If that was an industry standard, why haven’t these rules been strictly enforced in the past? If I remember correctly, James was rested for four games straight at the end of the 2009-10 regular season, and there was no hefty fine for him or the team.

So is Stern just pulling out the rulebook whenever he feels like it? Apparently so.

Unfortunately for him, he certainly looked like an ass when the Spurs’ second-string  held the Heat’s super-giants, James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, at 100-105.

They lost the game but snagged the last laugh nonetheless.

And they certainly made me feel like I should start stashing my lunch money away, just in case they bring some more of their A-game to the playoffs and land themselves in another Finals series. If they do, goodbye classes, The Northern Light and Anchorage. I’m going home to the beautiful Alamo city to watch that!

And of course, the Spurs bounced back from Stern’s hit at their next game Dec. 2 and beat the Grizzlies 99-95 in overtime.

That’s the San Antonio Spurs — just doing what they do regardless of Stern and his flapping jaw.

 

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