Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 8:00 am  |  46 responses

San Antonio Spurs Season Preview

Would you please remove these cutleries from my knees?

The San Antonio Spurs conclude our Southwest Division previews. You can read past previews here.

by Ben Collins

Say you have five forks.

You’re very sad — you very deft cutlery enthusiast, you! — because one of your finest forks has become rusted and tinny, a shade of its former fork self. You have decided to San Antonio Spurs Season Previewtake it out of service permanently.

Don’t confuse yourself: this fork hasn’t been itself in years. It wasn’t the fork of 1992 or 1993. That fork used to be at every dinner table. That fork was a suppertime staple, serviceable, versatile, almost completely adaptable and indispensable. Sure, it probably did its best with the American Chop Sueys of the world, but it proved later on that, since there was a late-round sale at Trader Joe’s that left it readily available, it could get along with the exotic euro dishes just as well. (Some said the Veal Ginobili tasted even better with it, but you couldn’t really get over how the meat just kept falling off your plate anytime you grazed the thing with your knife.)

Then you took it out of the rotation, a fork left only for special occasions as to ward off the rust, make it usable–salvageable, at the very least–for the big guys.

Thanksgiving. Christmas. Hanukkah, even, for that nice Jewish girl you met at the Knives and Spoons Expo that one time.

And now you’ve told it not to come back because the rust is too thick, too unmanageable. Or maybe it told you it wouldn’t be coming back?

And this is when you discover two things:

1) If the forks are talking to you whatsoever, maybe you should consider a new hobby.
2) If the first one is now trash-bound-and-ready-for-collection, where does that leave the other four forks?

You got the other four forks not soon after. There’s the one you have that is stainless steel, almost impenetrable. You couldn’t bend that thing if you took a god damned hatchet to it. That thing should be good forever, or the fork equivalent.

But that’s not the problem. The one that falls down all the time — not unlike the Veal Ginobili — that kind of behavior has to wear, doesn’t it? The young one is good, but what if that one hasn’t been washed in a while? What if it gets too caught up in hanging out with that really nice, curvy spoon that you bought it?

And they have no backups. Did I mention that? There are no backup forks.

And then there’s that fork who’s getting really old, that fork that you can’t trade because everyone else hates it and tries to beat it down every second it gets because it plays dirty and can’t keep its motherf***ing feet from tripping up jumpshooters as they take their motherf***ing jumpshots and knees MVPs in the balls (the balls!) and is just a generally dirty player and gets away with it every god damn time like he has some sort of motherf***ing immunity to it or something, that rat bastard Bruce Bowen character.

OK, so I’m not talking about forks.

But herein lies the problem: The San Antonio Spurs are getting older. Robert Horry has retired. Tim Duncan is unbreakable, yes, but Manu Ginobili will eventually be the victim of severe and abrupt detritus. Eva Longoria is one curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy spoon.

And there are no backup forks. Not-a-one.

This has been the pseudo-dilemma for the past two or three years on the Riverwalk. And I say pseudo-dilemma because Gregg Popovich — the genius, le premier master de la silverware drawer that he is — has dealt with it as only a genius master de la silverware drawer could: he has pretended like his players don’t get old and this somehow works.

The fact that this team that has gotten nothing but older since winning the whole thing in 2005 and 2007 and still managed to flirt with an NBA Finals appearance last year proves that Popovich is the best coach of his generation. It also proves that his team is outlawed from ever seeing the movie Jack with Robin Williams.

But the weird, feigned efforts to provide some sort of the turnicate to this aging problem is becoming an almost hilarious operation. R.C. Buford — who, don’t get it mixed up, is also the NBA executive of his generation — has went to the local YMCA and picked up these youngsters to succeed Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and (later) Tony Parker:

Salim Stoudamire, who will shoot his 25-footers all the way to 12 wins! Or the NBA Finals! But, seriously, probably 12 wins.

Then there’s George Hill, who played basketball at IUPUI last year, which is apparently a school in Indiana, not the disease my friend contracted after he spent two weeks in Denmark with a woman he did not know and he’s fairly certain was a snake charmer.

And don’t forget about this second year pro — you might know him from his extensive duty in the D-League, but you probably don’t — Ian Mahinmi. God bless you! Your name is an allergy.

You’d figure that this — the whole Robert Horry thing — finally has to mean something. That this would be the beginning of the end. The first fork of many off to the deluxe apartment in the top of the trash heap at the Bexar County Waste Removal Center.

But, don’t worry, the Spurs will be fine because they always will be. Tim Duncan will continue banking in threes with no time left in playoff games, even though he hasn’t shot anything further away than a free throw in at least six months. Tony Parker will get better and better and will continue to make you jealous that God gave all the good genes to some pukey little French dude who you actually kind of like but call him pukey because, again, you’re unfathomably envious. Manu Ginobili will keep driving and getting to the foul line and hit his jumpshots and drive some more and probably be somewhere near #14 on this list again next year — a ranking so soul-crushingly high that I didn’t understand it to begin with and probably never will. Ian Mahinmi will be the next Michael Jordan/Shaquille O’Neal/Allah, God, the Savior of All Men and His Prophet Mohammad. Bruce Bowen will never get caught because he is The Punisher. And the circle of life will continue, as is, always, because this is how things go.

Look, we don’t know how this works either and we all work at a basketball magazine, so we’d really prefer that you’d stop asking because we’re starting to get a little insecure about it, OK? Thanks.

So, where was I? Yes, they’re going to win 16 more championships — probably one of them this year — with the new Twin Towers, Duncan/Mahinmi, and they will grab the mic simultaneously atop the podium to tell us to stop guessing when they will be awful and for all of us to go fork ourselves for once.

And we will blame this on Mahinmi’s bad English. And we will keep talking about how these forks keep rusting, rusting, rusting and one day it will happen and we will stare down at this rusted cutlery set and we will all look smart. Finally.

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  • maeng

    1st! spurs suck!

  • FLUD


  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Best metaphor ever! :) That was great.

  • Tuomas

    Seriously out there. And somehow still great. Applause. As much as I hate to admit it, the Spurs are probably still going to be business as usual this year.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ah, young Benjamin. I think you have a severe fetish and you may need to get it looked at. Seriously.
    With that said, that IUPUI line killed me. The Spurs have to win it all agin since we are going into an odd-numbered year and the sh*t all starts to not make sense again.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Also, you probably should have edited out your Salim Stoudamire line last night.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    The Conchords would be proud….

  • Ken

    I hate the Spurs, but I liked this write-up. Well done.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Ireland knows about the Conchords Izzo? wow.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Hursty:Yes,we also have these new fangled things called telephones.I predict,that by 2045,every American city will have one.

  • Froggiestyle

    Ben – simple solution – sporks. Besides, if Eva is a spoon I’d liketa spork the snot outta dat :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/mikebone Simmy Sosa

    Ben, Tim Duncan is so good you’ve probably only seen about 50 percent of his complete game. I have personally seen him drain several threes in a row, bank and swish, but he doesn’t do it on the regular because he’s so dominant on the inside.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    What is this phone contraption you speak of?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    TAD- apparently ‘phones’ make the engines on steam powered boats work. I had no idea though.
    Nevermind, I’m confusing myself now :)

  • KA

    I got my azz kicked by this piece, good job mister ben Collins.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Motherf*cking Brue Bowen.

  • joe

    Why do other teams even bother to compete during odd years, they already know they are not going to win the championship anyway? During odd years the entire Western Conference should play overseas in the Euro-Leagues. The Eastern Conference should have a one-game elimination tournament to see who gets to lose against the spurs for the championship.

  • joe

    The entire Western Conference with the exception of the Spurs, should go to the Euro-League, is what I meant.

  • vmcb

    Posting 100% due to the Flight of the Conchords refernece.
    F*ck the Spurs.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    This was a good read, the cutlery analogy was smart haha. All that aside, where do you guys think the Spurs’ll be this year? Contenders again? They look older than they’ve ever been, but they’ve been looking old since Stephen Jackson left. Still… if not for a ridiculous non-call on that Barry three-pointer, things could’ve been very different.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    And their usual strong bench of crafty vets are gone. Horry and Barry are gone. Finley seems to have fallen off. In their stead we have a bunch of unproven, no-name or mediocre guys. Can Pops work his magic on them? I actually think they should try and get Bonner more involved, since someone has to fill Horry’s shoes… the “Red Rocket” has game and a lot of character.

  • http://www.nba.com/bucks/ Keith

    I’ve always dreamed of a fork-related NBA team preview and now my wish has come true.

  • http://hoops4life.com overtime

    Brilliant article. But its an odd year, and in the last 5 of those there was only one they dind’nt win it all

  • Cupcake

    Sorry BET, this I think was the best preview up till now. I still hate the Spurs though, but I still will go to 5 of their games cause they’re closer then Houston.

  • riggs

    eva longoria is overrated to the fullest.

  • http://slamonline.com Josh D

    Fine write about the spurs like their a dirty playing bunch of pensioners, jokes on you when there up on that podium for the fifth time and lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ben Collins

    Hi, folks.
    Salim’s section should be amended. It’s sad he didn’t make it through training camp. I would’ve loved to see the dirty looks TD would give him after jacking something from the 13th row in a close game.
    And, yeah, HOVA — I don’t get it? How can Ireland possibly be open to such an uber-patriotic American band such as Flight of the Conchords?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    like Tela im saying bye bye haters!

  • http://slamonline.com Matt Caputo

    Ben Collins is awesome. Basketball is a dirty game and every team could use a Bruce Bowen. Another fine job, the first in a while, from one Mr. Ben Collins.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com H to the Izzo

    Ben:In fairness to Hursty,he’s Australian and was probably hoping that his country’s severe lack of folk-parody wouldn’t be exposed in such a world-wide scale.After the Conchords solidified New Zealand’s southern hemosphere dominance,our friends national pride has been ruined.His country is left as just an ugly,sheeples neighbor of the dominant All Blacks.Sad day really.

  • KulchaKris

    Does Eva Longoria really rank one “curvy”, much less nine?

  • Jose

    this is a gangster preview. 03,05,07,(09?) maybe

  • Anton

    this failing team hasn’t recovered since the departure of Rodman

  • Gaz


  • Gaz


  • aotearaw

    H to the Izzo: you speak the truth:)

    Oh, and f*ck the Spurs…no way will they win the west this year.

  • KA

    I’m a spurs guy and I don’t think theyll win another chip. I’d like to be proven wrong bit the wc is just too stacked with young good teams right now. theyll still be competitive for another 3 years but don’t have the depth and savvy (due to vets exodus) to get out of the wcf.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i want to see the rockets or spurs win it this year. if neither makes it to the finals, then detroit or boston.

  • AB_40

    I have this strange feeling that this season ro the next marvin williams will get tradet to or signed by the spurs and live up to his no.2 selection in ’05. This season the spurs will be contending. Making a crazy late season run lik 18-7 and then be once more one of the top 4,2 or maybe the best team in the west…

    That article with kobe talkin about how they want boston in the finals… they need to get there first.

    p.s. I wouldn’t be surprised if they signed robert horry at the end of the season when the injury bug bites them.

  • Anton

    @ Joel O’s: Barry travelled before the shot, get over it

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Ben Collins!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    …. That was mean Izzo. But its ok. I forgive you. You are Irish- it’s not your fault. :)

  • LAN

    lollollol forks

  • Wilford Brimley

    “But the weird, feigned efforts to provide some sort of the turnicate to this aging problem is becoming an almost hilarious operation.”

    turnicate? do you mean tourniquet?

  • John Magnifico

    I will never look at flatware the same way again. Good article Ben but you should tell us how you really feel. A long way from the round school huh.

    Good luck

  • http://www.youtube.com/mandiixoxo Amanda

    lmao, I read this thinking it was the 2009 spurs preview. I was laughing my ass off, like what is this dude talking about, then I saw the date. Silly me.
    And about all the jokes, the old jokes, the Manu Ginobili is a flopper thing, I realized today that I’ve been a Spurs fan so long I done heard it all, it doesn’t even phase me. I do like when I hear some creative ones though, so try to use those in the next Spurs one ;P
    Take care!