Wow, it’s in Wikipedia! It’s in the news! Tim C., the good guy from Pounding the Rock, also classifies the ever entertaining Suns / Spurs saga as a rivalry (and uses a great big brother / little brother metaphor to hammer it home, as it were). So the Suns and Spurs exemplify the time honored joy in observing diametric match-ups, yes? Oh yeah… Alex Laugan also touched on the issue this morning.
At first I was going to disagree and say that the teams had a lot more in common than most know and that the Suns / Spurs history wasn’t any more emulatory in nature than some other NBA team (disqualifying the literal use of the term “rivalry”), but after pausing a while to think about it, there really are only a few similarities between the two. The first and most obvious similarity: Phoenix and San Antonio are both large southwest cities with a robust helping of diversity. It’s huge for sports when all fans can come together despite pressing sociopolitical issues that might otherwise divide them. As I recall, the Spurs were actually on board with wearing the “Los” jerseys on Cinco de Mayo last year, but they couldn’t be made or distributed fast enough to wear (game 2, playoffs). Other similarities include the insatiable need to beat the Mavericks, to make fun of (and concede to) the Lakers, great coaches (you can’t get mad at Pop…’cause he might actually pop and that would be kinda gross), and of course the strong fan confidence backing the whole operation up in the first place.
The biggest differences between the Suns and Spurs are (in MY opinion, which is to say when I am not twirling my hair and pretending to know things about basketball):
· We don’t have a flopper on the team. The “beloved” Balki Bartokomous (Manu) Flop – I say beloved because some find it amusing when basketball players fall down and go boom – just won’t find its way into a play by any of our Suns. The Suns are too cool for that nonsense (but not above smashing glass doors, hooray). Manu isn’t the worst in this respect, though. At least he doesn’t have a weasel face. Manu can definitely shoot those three pointers, but then again so can his match-up for tonight. Go Jason Richardson!
· Our bench seems to be a lot more colorful than the Spurs bench. Okay, so I don’t really know too much about the Spurs back-up dancers, but they don’t have a magic Dragic or a newly extended and no doubt ecstatic Dudley (who scares the heck out of the Spurs vets, anyway). Our toys are more fun. Gary Neal looks a little scary, though, and I’m raising an eyebrow in his direction this evening.
· Celebrity disparity. None of our guys are dating or married to a famous person. Good for them. I, for one, think that celebrities curse sports at times (with the exception of the Lakers whose roster includes celebrities as is). Look at the Kardashian Cowboys. Ouch. And yes, I am aware that when she was dating Reggie Miller the Saints won the Super Bowl and my whole argument just went out the window. Whatever.
· Happy colors. Purple + Orange = Good judgment and Power. Black + Silver = Absence and…yeah I am just totally making this junk up as I go. Sorry.