Oh the season. Oh the season! Election or NBA, both are upon us. We're getting into the spirit by bringing you our season previews (with a little help from the presidents). One per day for the next 30 days—which will bring us to the Day of Reckoning. So please join us on the campaign trail as we shake hands, kiss babies and sink jumpers.
"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower has affected your life more than most presidents. Many of you benefit directly from him daily, couldn’t function without him. He championed the Interstate Highway System. Yeah, that’s your jam right there. You drive all over that thing.
The Spurs? They’ve long ago laid the groundwork for a system of coaches, veterans and expectations that allows for continued, unparalleled success—a convenient commute to championships, if you will. (Sorry.)
Also, like Ike, the Spurs' domestic achievements have always been overlooked in favor of their foreign policy record. Yes, Parker and Ginobli (and maybe even Duncan because none of us really know what the U.S. Virgin Islands are—it’s like, we know their name leads strong with “U.S.” but they’re not states, right?) are imports and should be lauded as such. But the organization’s true gift has been cultivating role players right here on U.S. soil. The greatest trick the Spurs ever pulled was convincing Stephen Jackson he didn’t exist. By dropping him and all the other average role players into their elite system of highways and extra passes, they’ve kept moving, kept evolving into whatever form Triple G Popovich needs them to assume each given year.
It’s tough to know if Tony Parker’s Popovich-mandated takeover of the team last year has resulted in any systematic changes. Would the Duncan-headed '04-'05 squad have allowed a winning streak (something Popovich notoriously dismisses) to reach 20 games? More importantly, would they have allowed themselves to follow it up with a four-game, season-ending losing streak? The latter can be answered simply in the negative, but the former is trickier. Even with Duncan on the decline—albeit a slower decline than we may have expected—this is still the Spurs. But is it still “The Spurs?” Or even the “Spurs?” I don’t know. We don’t know. But we should try and enjoy the end of this truly remarkable sizzle reel. And Patty Mills!
Look, I don’t know how to tie this back in to Ike one last time to wrap it up, bring it full circle, a third stale cliche, except to say that he is dead now and that one day, the Spurs will be dead too. Really makes you think, no?
Rushed Pull-Up Jumpers
Pokemon who the team should adopt as its new mascot: Alakazam
Headline we’ll be most sick of reading: “Are the league-leading Spurs for real?”
Headline we’re most looking forward to: “Tony Parker apologizes for being a generally unsavory dude.”
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you enter the pearly gates?: “Seriously, you guys are waaay late.”