Sorry, but I did not get much joy out of watching the
San Antonio Spurs lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sure, the Spurs had tormented the Suns for years,
seemingly always being in the way of every legitimate
championship run during the Steve Nash era (you know,
except for that one glorious time the Suns swept the
Spurs. That was fun).
And yes, it would have been somewhat painful to see the
black and silver hoist another Larry O’Brien Trophy —
their 5th — while the Suns are still searching for numero
But the demise of the San Antonio Spurs at the hands of
the Oklahoma City Thunder, due as it may have been,
signifies the official fall of the Western Conference’s
“old guard,” of which the Suns were an integral part.
The only difference is the Spurs — along with the Lakers
and Mavericks — actually got something to show for their
Maybe, when looking at the big picture, that’s the real
shame in all of this.
Were the Suns good enough at any point of the last 8 years
to win a title? Absolutely. Did they suffer some bad luck?
No doubt. Was their failure to win a title largely their
own doing? Unfortunately, yes.
Which makes watching the Thunder — a young team who has
done it right virtually every step of the way — is
arguably as rough as watching the Spurs. They’re young,
fun to watch and good. They’re the Phoenix Suns, circa
OKC is such a joy to
watch. Like the Suns circa 2003-2006, before Sarver ruined
— David Leibowitz (@leiboaz) June 7,
Oh, what could have been.
Oh, what used to be.
Ugh, what is on the way.
Most can agree the Suns’ glory days, whether Steve Nash
sticks around or not, are over. No more “Making Basketball
Fun Again,” no more “:07 Seconds or Less,” no more “Eyes
on the Prize,” no more Trophy Guy.
They are rebuilding,
which is a process that can be slow, frustrating and
It’s also necessary, for seemingly everyone but the San
Antonio Spurs. And that’s why, while no one will say Suns
fans should have been rooting for them, they should feel a
bit of sadness watching them go home once again. For as
long as Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Popovich were at the
top, Suns fans could always feel a bit of
jealousy anger towards the best the NBA
had to offer.
There was a rivalry there, and even if the Suns rarely
came out on top, it was intense, fun and real.
The Spurs were floppers, whiners, dirty and evil.
Hell, they’re really still all those things. But it
doesn’t matter anymore, because they are also done.
The Spurs are no longer the class of the Western
Conference; the Suns are no longer relevant in the Western
Neither fact is worth celebrating.