Black & Silver just isn’t Red

21 05 2008

Popular point of discussion at the moment, especially given the Lazarus impersonation against the New Orleans Hornets…
Are the San Antonio Spurs a dynasty?

A huge, huge amount of basketball-fans think so. And the evidence would seem to point that way:
The past ten years have seen a period of play from the Spurs that has been amazing… winning 4 championships in the same time-frame.
Surely such a performance is that of a dynastic team???
They are a dynasty, right?

Well… no.

This is just another sports-phrase that gets over-used, way too much. To the point where the term has come to mean less than it should. And as a result, the overall meaning of the word has become somewhat diluted.
San Antonio’s a really good team, and they’ve enjoyed a prolonged period of success, but they’re not a dynasty. Not even if they do win this year.
And that’s ok.

Yes, the Spurs won in 1999, 2003, 2005, and 2007. And they’ve been competing in playoffs pretty much every year during that span of years – from 1999 to 2008. But having a look at the years they didn’t win, well… they weren’t ‘dynastic’ at all… they were ‘pretty good’.
From 2000-02, the Spurs lost in the first round to Phoenix, lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, and then lost to the Lakers again in the Western Conference Semi-finals.
In 2004, they lost in the Western Conference semi-finals to LA.
In 2006, Dallas beat them in the Western Conference semi-finals.

That is still pretty good… and if that’s not the performance of a ‘dynasty’, then what is?
A dynasty is dominance.
Complete.
Utter.
Dominance.
Want a definition?

Complete.
1. having all parts or elements; lacking nothing; whole; entire; full: a complete set of Mark Twain’s writings.
2. finished; ended; concluded: a complete orbit.
3. having all the required or customary characteristics, skills, or the like; consummate; perfect in kind or quality: a complete scholar.
4. thorough; entire; total; undivided, uncompromised, or unmodified: a complete victory; a complete mess.

Utter.
Complete; absolute; entire

Or… an even better definition in NBA terms: A dynasty is the Red Auerbach Celtics. From 1957, to 1969 they won 11 titles… ELEVEN! That’s one more than TEN! And only once in that time did they not make the finals! Yes, I know that Red retired after 1966, but even post that, they were still ‘Red’s team’.
That team is the quintessential dynasty of modern sports, not just basketball, but all sport.
Other teams maybe earnt ‘dynasty’ status…
The Minneapolis Lakers in the early 50s fit the bill, winning 5 championships in a 6 year span.
Showtime Lakers – maybe…
Jordan’s Bulls – yes, most definitely. A double 3peat earns ’em that right.
The Lakers of Kobe/Shaq years? – hmmm, jury’s out – leaning towards ‘no’ tho’.

But the current Spurs?
No.
‘Dynasty’ doesn’t take every second year off.
‘Dominance’ doesn’t let another team 3peat during what’s trying to be a supposed ‘dynastic’ period.

Not sure what the fuss is about. There are very, very few dynasties in all of sports. There’s no shame in not being one, it should be a term that’s reserved for a phenomenal amount of winning over an extended period of time. Even coming in second doesn’t cut it, and the Spurs have never made it that far in an even year.

In a friendly ‘argument’ on this, I was once told:

“…what the Spurs have done is remarkable…”

And that’s true – absolutely so… as in “worthy of being remarked upon”.
But even ‘very good’ doesn’t cut it as a dynasty.

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5 responses

22 05 2008
Hans

he-he I can comment on this one;) although, i only know about Ginobelli [sp?] as my wife’s from Argentina too. watch them play every so often, and always laugh when I think Duncan only runs back and forth between the hoops b/c his teammates keep telling him “there is weed hidden in the net!” not knockin’ weed, just think he looks like the biggest stoner on the courts 🙂

22 05 2008
fluxland

Malice, you’ve seen me mention this in other parts of the blogworld… the term dynasty includes the word succession. In basketball this would imply el backo to backo.

Spurs non tengo = no dynasty for you!!

22 05 2008
Nigel

I don’t know where you get your definition of dynasty from but this is what my dictionary says:

Dynasty
NOUN
pl. dynasties
A succession of rulers from the same family or line.
A family or group that maintains power for several generations: a political dynasty controlling the state.

This implies a team that continues to win despite changes in the players.

On that basis the Bulls would not qualify as they were built around the same top 2 players and then disappeared when those players retired.

You could make a case for the Red Celtics to the Bird Celtics and the Minneapolis Lakers to the Showtime Lakers to the Shaq/Kobe Lakers though.

If the Spurs win a ring after Duncan retires you can call them a dynasty.

22 05 2008
fluxland

Nigel.. look up succession

22 05 2008
fluxland

this implies back to back as in – in a row. As in Spurs have never done it.. as ins they are not a dynasty.

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