Since 1990, when I was in high school in South Dakota, I’ve been a fan of the San Antonio Spurs. People thought it a little strange that someone from South Dakota would be a fan of a team that was not only really far away, but a team that wasn’t even regionally relevant. But I liked the way that David Robinson played. So me and my only friend from high school would follow them from afar, occasionally getting to listen to them on the radio at night when the radio station WOAI broadcast at 50,000 watts(I know the ancient early 90’s right?). Even more rare was the chance that we got to go to Minneapolis and see them play as the visiting team against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But mostly, I read about them in a thing called a newspaper or got highlights on the local news, before ESPN was a thing. Somehow, I was able to find some cool Tye dyed looking shirt that made people’s eyes bleed and assured that everyone at my school know that I was in fact, the nerd that they really knew I was. My locker was littered with newspaper clippings of really important games that they won, like that really important December win over the worst team in the league. In David Robinson’s rookie year, they went to the playoffs and lost in the second round to the Portland Trailblazers in a devestating gave seven that I can still remember to this day. Since then, they been to the playoffs every year since, except for one. And even that one disaster of a year lead to them taking Tim Duncan in 1997, a pillar of the Spurs to this day. On Father’s Day Sunday, 24 years after that first year I started following the Spurs, they won their 5th NBA Championship. More than any other team except for the Celtics, Lakers, and Chicago Bulls. My guess is you think I have nothing to be bitter about with a team that has had such good fortune over the 24 years I have followed them…but you would be wrong. How about I make a list about some ways that I am bitter about the Spurs.
They make more money than me. The aforementioned Tim Duncan, who is considered one of the top 10 players of all time, is humble and quiet and unassuming and boring right? Right. Well, he has also made a gross amount of money in his career. When they call him a lottery pick, they aren’t joking. He has probably made between 250-300 million over his career. Even if you won one of the biggest lotteries of all time, you still probably haven’t won this amount of money. Last year, as a kind gesture, he took a pay cut of 50% so that the Spurs could sign some more players. Most players in the NBA, even at their grossly huge salaries and on the huge downslide of their career wouldn’t do that, but let’s be real. Even a 50% paycut paid him $10 million a year instead of $20 mill. Let’s break down how much money that is. The NBA has 82 games a year, so if he played all 82, (which he didn’t) that means he made $121,951.22 per game. Ladies and gentleman, I didn’t even make that much money last year, and I am a bitter blogger that makes zeros of dollars. So if they are making that much money a game, I expect that they will at least average 1800 points a game, 600 assists, 1500 rebounds, 500 blocked shots, 300 steals, never commit a turnover and play games that last 18 hours. Am I right?
They don’t have to live up to the same standards as me. I went to school as a young person. I was asked to learn things. Like the alphabet. And the mathabet. And the scienceabet. And the teachers wanted us to retain some of the learning. They made us take math every year. They made us use the alphabet over and over again. They made us take tests AND they judged us and graded us on them. Do you remember how much of a percentage they wanted us to get just to pass? I think not to get an F, you had to get at least 60% right? Well the Spurs just set an NBA record for shooting percentage in an NBA finals. Guess what percent. 52.8%. That amounts to lower than an F in school. And they got all kinds of praise. How about their 3 point shooting? Probably around 40% or something. Wouldn’t the teacher make you go back three grades for that?
They have a way better work schedule than me. At most, they have to work 4 days a week. Though sometimes they have to work 2 days in a row and sometimes weekends, so you know, I guess that kind of balances out. But, they only have to work 48 clock minutes a day. So maybe because time outs and commercials and close games make them work about three hours. But guess what? They get all kinds of breaks. I wish I could call a time out everytime I got a little tired. I wish my lunch lasted as long as their halftime did. I wish there was entertainment for the crowd of people that watch me work everytime I went to my lunch so they would have something to do while waiting for me to get a report finished. Oh and if I’m really not good at my job, I only get a seat on the bench where I get to watch other people work, and I still get paid lots of money? Sounds great to me. Say me and my team are just really bad at what we do. So we get even more time off? Sign me up for that job! That would be horrible to have to go on vacation in April instead of June. Oh you mean if we are the best of the best we get a shiny trophy, a ring, a few thousand more dollars (I guess to water their money trees with?) and respect? Wow, that sounds like great incentive for playing 2 more months. I wish they had that program for me at work.
Sometimes they have bad days. Like seriously bad days. They miss last second shots, they don’t get a foul call, they have to talk to the media, their seat on their private plane has a stitch loose, sometimes when they wake up on a flight they are responsible for a water bottle (what are they supposed to do with it?), sometimes they have to play a day game…the list goes on. I never have to deal with stuff like that. Just stupid stuff like bad knees, bad back, a sick child, a job that requires me to work 5 whole days, kids that like to fight, money problems, stupid stuff like that.
They aren’t very good listeners. Everytime they are on TV, I tell them stuff like, “Get back on defense, Tony!” or “Stop dribbling through traffic, Manu!” and for some reason they can’t hear me through the television. I assume they are just ignoring me, because if I can hear them, they should be able to hear me right? Yet, somehow they ignore me about 50% of the time. If I wanted those odds, I would ask my kids to do something.
I’m considered one of the lucky ones as far as NBA fans. According to ESPN (which is never wrong) only 7 teams have won the NBA Championship in the last 30 years. The Spurs have won 5 in the last 14 years. Do you know what that means!? That means they have only won 35% of the titles in the last 14 years. If it wasn’t for the super generous curve on the NBA Champ test they would be bigger failure than me in Sophomore Statistics. And guess what I get to show for my 22 years of loyalty? I get to spend all kinds of money on T-shirts, hats, and all kinds of Championship gear. Guess I AM a part owner of the Spurs.