ONE: The San Antonio Spurs are death. They are death reincarnate as a basketball team, and everyone knows it.
TWO: Consider their uniforms. Black, like the robes of death This one is so obvious it occurs to you every time you watch.
THREE: Death rides a pale horse. Spurs are for riding horses.
FOUR: They carry with them a sense of inevitably. They’ll be good every year, and teams will subcumb to them, sooner or later.
FIVE: A list of squads they have beat in their time as a powerhouse, only to see that squad never come back to the same level of prominence again: Patrick Ewing’s Knicks, Gary Payton’s Sonics, Jason Kidd’s Nets, Billups/Wallace/Brown Pistons, Rick Adelman’s Kings, the first iteration of the Lebron James Cavs, Deron Williams’s Jazz, Kobe’s Lakers, Lebron James’s Miami Heat. They dispatched them all, for the last time without fury or angry, they did it because they needed to be dealt with, because time demanded it and they were time’s left hand, the killer of teams that needed to be killed.
SIX: Tim Duncan. Relaxed.Focused. Some may say bloodless. Silently gliding across the court.
SEVEN: Tony and Boris are French. French dudes are way into death. Here are some literary quotes:
“I am just crazy about death” -Jean-Paul Satre
“Life is interesting, that is why I wrote like ten or so books about it. But I wish could have been dead all that time, because then I could have written some REAL-ASS BOOKS” -Marcel Proust
“My name’s Pat Modiano and I’m here to say/I am super into death in that uniquely French way!” -Patrick Modiano
EIGHT: Everyone on the team is old, and will have to retire sooner rather than later. Their faces and bodies and low minute counts are ever present reminds of the passage of time and our eventual trip to the grave.
NINE: But what if they never retire? They just go on and on, up seasons and down seasons, while everyone retires around them? A fixed inevitable point. Death, once again.
ELEVEN: Adaptive. The NBA was clogging their arteries with post play and isolations, so they beat them with man defense. Then, when everyone started eating spread offense vegetables, they learned to give those 150 Pound fellas heart attacks too. It doesn’t matter what you do, they will figure something out and destroy you. It’s coming. It’s always coming.
TWELVE: They are constantly denied and primally feared. “It’s gotta end sometime” you say. “That roster is old. It’s a young man’s game, basketball.” “And anyway, I am gonna keep on living. Everything I want to do, I will do eventually. I’m not worried about it.” Meanwhile, as you lie in bed at night, you catalog your fears. Duncan turning your rookie big man into a catatonic. Parker killing you with another midrange jumper off a pick. Car crash. Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Manu Ginobili murders you on behalf of the Argentine government. It can come in so many ways.