When do you realize that your ‘great’ team is now just ‘one of the guys”?

Tim Duncan is now three years removed from his last NBA Finals appearance. With a totally new team, Duncan and the Spurs are no longer an elite team but they are still capable of winning some playoff games

By Gregory Moore

So I’m listening to ESPNRadio.com and Tim Legler is on the air with Eric Kasilias talking NBA and which team in the West ‘could’ win the NBA title.

They’re talking about Oklahoma City, Denver, Utah and Portland. ‘Legs’ is saying that the Suns can’t grind it out.

He says that Dallas can go toe to toe with the Lakers.

And then they come to San Antonio.

“Six weeks ago I would have said that they deserve a shot at winning another title,” Legs says.

Okay, but what about now?

“This team is just too pourous on the perimeter and Richard Jefferson, the guy who was supposed to put them over the top, just hasn’t gelled.”

So once again a national talking head says that this team just can’t get it done with its current roster make up.

Well hell, why should we be surprised about that fact. But then I heard something the other day from a local talk show host and I was just floored.

“Why doesn’t the Spurs just sign Antonio Daniels?” the host says.

And right about when I think something logical is about to be berthed from my radio, dumbness enters my car instead.

“He’s Tim Duncan’s best friend.”

Yeah you read it right.

With all the other points that were made like Daniels works out at the practice facility and that he knows the system, the final point was, “He’s Tim Duncan’s best friend.”

Okay let’s all take a deep breath and repeat after me: THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS ARE NOW JUST ONE OF THE GUYS IN THE LOCKER ROOM.

Breathe with me and say, “THE SPURS ARE NO LONGER THE ELITE OF THE ELITE.”

Finally, exhale and exclaim, “MY TEAM IS JUST RUN OF THE MILL THIS SEASON.”

What am I trying to tell you?

Simple. This current Spurs team is talented but it is not an upper echelon team and to think that it can make a title run is just plain ludicrous.

This is a team that is just trying to make sure that it doesn’t get bounced in the first round.

This is a franchise that needs to rebuild NOW but is trying to hold off that task for just another season or two.

We’ve all seen great franchises go through this process before.

The San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees. We’ve all seen it happen.

Is it painful to watch?

Sure it is.

But it’s a necessary evil in the world of sports worship from adoring fans.

The problem lies in the fact that none of us who are fans want to face the fact that our beloved team is just run of the mill. And part of that problem comes from us as fans wanting to think even a player’s best friend can help our team eek out just a few more wins.

Look I love AD’s passion and enjoyed interviewing him when he was here but let’s be real about this situation shall we?

Even the buddy system isn’t going to help this team get over the ginormous hump that it stares at each and every day.

What is that hump?

A team that is still floundering to find an identity.

We can’t put wishful thinking and half-baked desires of hope on the line thinking that we are destined to grab a fifth title this season.

Should we be disappointed when our team finally loses in the playoffs?

Of course we should.

But we shouldn’t be shocked either.

And I think that’s the hard part right about now; we see the end coming and we just don’t want to accept it.

It’s understandable and quite natural as sports fans; of which I am one. But it is time for us to realize that this team love so dearly is not almighty and powerful as it once was; it is now becoming one of the boys in the locker room.

There’s no shame in coming to that realization now before the playoffs start.

It just means that you don’t want to put all your dreams and/or hopes on something that just isn’t there this year; a championship caliber team.

That’s not who this team is this season.

This season, this team is “just one of the boys” in a long playoff chase.

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