View Full Version : ESPN Insider - Spurs / Tim Legler

06-01-2005, 01:02 PM
There are a multitude of reasons the San Antonio Spurs have won more games (.705 winning percentage) than any team in the NBA over the past seven seasons.

Tim Duncan is arguably the best player in the league every single year. Gregg Popovich has done a remarkable job perennially blending in new parts without having the team miss a beat. Manu Ginobili has taken his game from a sixth man extraordinaire to a "go-to" pressure performer in just three seasons and is now a bona fide star. Bruce Bowen is capable of locking up any wing player in the league and anchors the NBA's best defense. Tony Parker, although inconsistent, is still one of the top point guards in the league and can put relentless pressure on opposing defenses with his speed and ability to penetrate.

And so on. And so on.

While all are valid reasons for the team's success, the simple fact of the matter is the Spurs win because they are the most unselfish team in professional sports. Period. End of discussion.

It is amazing to see a team, particularly in the NBA, have three legitimate star players in Duncan, Ginobili and Parker, and yet have no issues regarding shots, points, attention, contracts or minutes. The Spurs will go where these three players take them, which may be to a third NBA title in seven years.

Many teams have great talent and coaching. Some teams even understand the concept of unselfishness. The problem for most teams is they don't have it all. They may have great chemistry, but lack talent. Or they might be loaded with ability but don't have a clue how to win. The Spurs are the total package.

It all starts with Duncan. When a team has an MVP-caliber player who also has a great work ethic, great character and is a natural leader, it can achieve greatness. The knock on Duncan has been that he is boring and methodical. That is nothing short of ridiculous. If doing and saying all the right things while also putting up monster numbers and winning championships is boring, the NBA could use some more boring.

Ginobili and Parker fall into the same category. They share a "team first" mentality. Stats are inconsequential. They are foreign players who have focused on team success since they played in the junior leagues in Argentina and France.

Having played a year in France myself when I left college, I saw the mentality that is ingrained in foreign players' minds. They are conditioned to be unselfish. Individual glorification is minuscule compared to that of the team. They learn to put the goals of the team first, at a very young age, because they grow up yearning to play for their country, not the NBA. The progression to that level will come if they are fortunate enough to play on a team that can have international success.

As a result, it is possible for Popovich to ask Ginobili, an All-Star, to come off the bench in the Denver series for matchup purposes and to kick start the second unit. Not only did Ginobili agree, he did it without hesitation. The result was four straight wins against the Nuggets. Can you imagine the circus that would surround such a move with nearly any other NBA team?

It is easy to root for the Spurs. Not only are they the gold standard for team success, they are also a very exciting and fun team to watch. This is the most explosive offensive team the Spurs have had in five years, they still play stifling team defense and as a result they win.

Sit back and enjoy the show because the Spurs represent all that is good about the NBA.

06-02-2005, 02:54 PM
I don't think Legler has been right twice in his life, but this is one of those times.

06-03-2005, 04:00 PM
I seriously don't agree with this totally. I see Parker an dGinobili ball hog it a lot. Duncan is the only one that I would put in this category. I do not however like the idea of the Spurs in the Finals. Spurs=low rating and I for one won't be watching.

06-03-2005, 04:47 PM
Did you see the around the back circus shot that Manu made in game 3 of the conference finals. Every game was exciting. Duncan can dominate the game on defense and offense like MJ did. The great ones play well on both sides of the floor. Duncan is one of the best of all time. He just doesn't pound his chest and have a bravado with him. Duncan is the pete sampras of tennis.

06-03-2005, 04:52 PM
Suns/Spurs was the most exciting series yet. I expect the series with Miami will be almost as good if not as good or better. I just hope Wade is okay for that series.

06-06-2005, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by: MFFL41
I seriously don't agree with this totally. I see Parker an dGinobili ball hog it a lot. Duncan is the only one that I would put in this category. I do not however like the idea of the Spurs in the Finals. Spurs=low rating and I for one won't be watching.A ballhog wouldn't last a minute in Pop's organization. Rest assured that if Manu or Pop is taking shots, they're doing so with the coach's blessing.