(Editor’s Note: Today’s article continues our 2017 NBA Playoffs basketball coverage called 40 Nights of Hate, as the next two months of our lives will be devoted to the greatest postseason basketball tournament known to mankind. Some of our arguments will be rational, many others will be irrational. To hate is to love, as the basketball gods toy with our lives like James Harden does oafish 7-footers on switched pick-and-rolls. Enjoy our 40 Nights of Hate coverage, or despise it. Either is acceptable.)
There are very few constants in sports, with so much changing in the course of a few seasons. Five years is a lifetime in most leagues, and as a fan you learn not to get used to the good or bad very long. In recent years the only things you could pretty much guarantee in the NBA is that a team with LeBron James will likely be in the Finals, and a well-coached Gregg Popovich team will always be in contention. For the latter, that constant has often made the game un-enjoyable for myself, simply because at some point you expect to see all empires fall.
Coach Pop clearly does not care what I want.
Now I should preface this by saying I am not one of those guys that believe the San Antonio Spurs are boring. Watching basketball being executed to precision at the highest level will never be boring to me. I will say that I get tired of watching the same teams placed in positions to contend for a championship every year, and the Spurs have been one of those teams for far too long now. Even in a season that is inevitably set up for the 3rd straight matchup between Golden State and Cleveland, it just wouldn’t be life if the Spurs didn’t insert themselves into the equation.
That’s why I couldn’t get myself to watch the end of Game 6 between the Spurs and Rockets. Nothing interesting about an explosive Rockets team getting routed by nearly 40 points. MVP candidate James Harden going 2 for 11 in a decisive game is terrible no matter how you want to view it, and the only explanation is, they played the Spurs. Forget the fact this San Antonio team lost their longstanding point guard for the season. Never mind the frustrating reality that has been LaMarcus Aldridge, who I will say has overachieved this series. You could even make a case that Houston was given the opportunity to force a Game 7 with the Spurs announcing hours before the game that Kawhi Leonard was out. No way Houston gets eliminated at home against a team starting Jonathan Simmons and Patty Mills right?
Well they did. Why, well because Gregg Popovich does not care what I’m tired of. The Spurs organization is keeping this thing going as long as they can, and I’m finding it so hard to care what’s happening in the Western Conference more and more. I’m a 76ers fan, I’ve been programmed to believe that if you aren’t winning a championship every year, you’re supposed to bottom out until you do. I don’t understand these teams that just keep winning and contending. Congratulations to the Spurs making another Conference Finals, and continuing their reign of making me dread another late postseason run by them. Wouldn’t be the same without it.