Look at their resume. From 1997 to 2014, the Spurs have never missed the playoffs, won at least 50 games or more in 16 of those 17 years and have won five NBA titles during this time period. Not the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics nor the Miami Heat can lay claim to dominating the NBA for this amount of time. It’s just an incredible achievement.
But still, the NBA continuously treats the Spurs like ugly step children. The Spurs have never gotten the respect they deserve from the NBA. Part of the reason for this is because the Spurs play in San Antonio. Despite being the nation’s seventh largest city, the San Antonio media market is one of the smallest in the NBA. In the eyes of the NBA, San Antonio is not as flashy and glitzy as Los Angeles, not as big-time as New York and not as sexy as Miami. To the NBA, San Antonio is just a hick town deep in the heart of Texas that happens to have a successful franchise.
That “un-sexiness” rubs itself on the team. The Spurs never cause controversy and stress playing as a team instead of showcasing individual talent; you know, how the game is supposed to be played. In any other league, the Spurs would be celebrated. But not in the NBA. They get looked down upon for doing things the right way.
It’s time for the NBA to let go of this hatred for the Spurs and start embracing them. The Spurs are the classiest organization in the league. There is a reason why players are willingly take pay cuts to play in one of the smallest markets in the NBA. The Spurs and the community take care of the players, and in return the players buy into the system — a system that has not really changed in 15 years.
The NBA needs to start respecting that, and maybe Adam Silver will finally be the commissioner who gives San Antonio its due respect. This is the team every franchise in the NBA should look up to and model themselves after, because the Spurs do things the right way and they win because of it.
If NBA Entertainment ever decides to do a documentary on the Spurs’ dominance of the past 17 years — and they really should think about it — I will be happy to narrate it. The Spurs deserve that and a lot more from the NBA. So please, stop treating San Antonio like an ugly stepchild.
If any team deserves to be treated like an ugly stepchild, look at the Minnesota Timberwolves. What have they done for the league lately?