For a couple of years there I thought I was over it, I truly did. I thought most of the anger from May of 2007 had gone away and that I no longer resented the San Antonio Spurs for their dirty tactics that ultimately resulted in what I still refer to as “The Great Stern Betrayal of 2007” against the Phoenix Suns. Then Sunday evening I’m sitting there watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Spurs and the Miami Heat and Tim Duncan get’s called for a technical after arguing with the ref for what was essentially a good no call.
It was at that moment that I was reminded why I still hate the Spurs. I do understand that the Suns didn’t help themselves in certain areas. It sure would have been nice had Mike D’Antoni thought it would have been important to develop a bench; that really could have come in handy in Game 3 when the Suns just flat ran out of gas. Then there’s D’Antoni, who just let the Gregg Popovich bully him around worse than Coach Red bullied Coach Klein in The Waterboy. I was hoping after that Game 2 hit Robert Horry executed on Steve Nash that D’Antoni would send Pat Burke into the game to take out Duncan.
Of course who am I kidding? D’Antoni could have responded to “Hack a Shaq” with “Hack a Dunc” yet decided to allow Popovich to keep the ball in the hands of one of the worst free throw shooters in history. Still, that does not cancel out how completely dirty and classless the Spurs had become that year. Remember when Bruce Bowen tried to injure Amare Stoudemire by kicking him in mid air during a dunk? That moved was downright dangerous; Bowen should have faced at least a multiple game suspension but of course received nothing.
Don’t forget about the play I mentioned earlier, where the notoriously dirty Robert Horry went out and hip checked Steve Nash into the score table. I was convinced then as I always will be that the hip check was planned. David Stern would wind up suspending Amare and Boris Diaw for standing up off the bench immediately after watching their MVP go flying into a table. The momentum and advantage the Suns had after winning Game 2 in San Antonio evaporated with their lead and energy in Game 3. Despite having arguably the best team in the NBA that season, they were unfortunately not quite good enough to beat a dirty playing Spurs team, Stern and a referee who would later end up in jail for betting on games, speaking of Game 3.
Seven years later I find myself becoming an even bigger fan of LeBron James than I was before. I thought I was over it, but seven years after the fact I still have not forgotten and still cannot stand those dirty San Antonio Spurs.