NBA Finals: Why it's hard not to root for the San Antonio Spurs

If you love the game, it's hard not to cheer for San Antonio. For starters, these guys are disciplined and intelligent. Players. Coaches. Management. Doesn't it seem like everyone in the Spurs organization has their stuff together?
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 10, 2013

The franchise just seems to be able to plug in different, often forgotten about players — Exhibit A, Boris Diaw — and continue to go on about its winning ways.

That's a credit, of course, to the players, but it's also a nod to the organization.

Gregg Popovich is a prickly curmudgeon, but the man can coach. Few are better with the Xs and Os. Or the development of players. Or the management of egos.

Granted, the former military man does so with a my-way-or-the-highway style, but hey, it works.

San Antonio's front office brass isn't all that different from Pop. Led by Oklahoma State alum and general manager R.C. Buford, the Spurs have a philosophy and they stick to it no matter what. Their goal is to have a playoff team every year. Period.

That means they spend within their small-market means. They refuse to mortgage the future for the present. They rely on player development over player acquisition.

Heck, even when the Spurs looked old against the youthful Thunder last season, they didn't deviate.

That was an offseason, you remember, when several of their Western Conference pursuers were revamping rosters. The Lakers snagged Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. The Clippers landed Chris Paul. The Nuggets got Andre Iguodala.

The Spurs' response?

Crickets.

They just stayed the course.

And here they are, back in the NBA Finals.

I know it has become trendy to cheer for the Spurs, so I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon. But I'm not doing it because I hate the Heat. Miami obviously has great players, an outstanding coach and a successful system, otherwise it wouldn't be in the position to repeat as the champ.

Should the Heat prevail, it will be a worthy winner.

But I appreciate the way the Spurs go about their business. They are consistent. They are disciplined. They are smart.

So, go ahead and cheer for the Spurs because you hate the Heat if you must. I'm going to cheer for the Spurs because I actually like them.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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