A Sinister Selfie: the San Antonio Spurs and their Character Issues.

Thanks to Spurs guard Danny Green, a new word entered our lexicon this week: the holocaust selfie. Green, who was visiting the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Information Center in Berlin, where the Spurs played a preseason game, decided to snap a selfie of himself at the monument. While the picture was questionable, the caption — “You know I had to do it one time lol #holocaust” — was really what caused a stir. To his credit, Green acted swiftly and sincerely to his transgression. The picture was deleted (and then later reposted with a far more appropriate caption) and Green, himself, issued a lengthy apology on Twitter. Combining the four tweets yields us with this message: “Yes, mistakes do happen. I want to sincerely apologize for the insensitivity of my post! I have great respect [and] understanding for this country’s history [and] wanted to continue chronicling my experience in Berlin. But showed poor judgement. [Sorry] once again.”

The point here is not to lay it all on Danny Green, who has apologized, and who is guilty of a crime of ignorance rather than a crime of maliciousness. Rather, I highlight the “holocaust selfie” to illustrate that the San Antonio Spurs haven’t been as squeaky clean over the last few years as their sterling reputation might suggest. Of course, Tony Parker found himself facing accusations of antisemitism after a dated picture of he and French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala both engaged in the quenelle emerged, a gesture that has been compared to a “Nazi salute in reverse.” At around the same time, pictures of Parker’s countryman and teammate Boris Diaw engaged in the quenelle resurfaced, adding to the (admittedly small) firestorm which wondered whether there were larger issues of antisemitism in the Spurs organization. But that’s really not the half of it. Right before the season started, Mike Budenholzer, the team’s former lead assistant, and newly-hired coach of the Atlanta Hawks, was arrested for a DUI before ever coaching a game for his new teamEven the team’s general manager has had his trouble with driving under the influence, getting arrested for a DUI in 2011. Prior to that, Gary Neal, who served as an important player in the Spurs rotation from 2011 to 2014, faced rape charges while attending LaSalle University, but was acquitted in 2005. And finally, one cannot forget the fact that Gregg Popovich, the team’s head coach whose grumpy-Gus act with the media has become his calling card, was apparently mean enough to Doris Burke to nearly make her cry. Yet, to the average NBA fan, most of these incidents are hardly incidents at all. Like other NBA teams, or professional sports teams, the Spurs struggle with character issues from their employees. At the same time, it still seems puzzling: why aren’t these transgressions more widely discussed?

Part of the reason has to do with the Spurs purposeful orientation towards their community. With apologies to the Toros and the Rampage, the Spurs are the only “Big Four” professional sports team in San Antonio, and by far the city’s most successful. In fact, of all of the NBA champions from the past 20 years, only the San Antonio Spurs (#36) hail from an area that’s not in the top 20 for media market size. As such, and like most single-team cities, they carry themselves with a “mom and pop” feel that contributes to their overall mystique. Though they maintain active sponsorships with national brands such as Kia, Coca Cola and State Farm, their primary sponsor is H-E-B, a local supermarket chain based in the San Antonio area. They also prefer to align themselves with sponsors who have a longstanding presence in the San Antonio area, including Express Lube and Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC). While this prevents the Spurs from having the visibility that a team like the Los Angeles Clippers enjoys, or even another strong one-team-town like the Oklahoma City Thunder (whose primary sponsor, Chesapeake Energy, is already problematically owned by team owner Aubrey McClendon), it also shields them from criticism that other prominent teams deals with. And, most importantly, it is difficult to criticize a team that contributes their images and likenesses to silly television spots and billboards around the area. The Spurs are sponsored by businesses that know them, and reap the benefits from a longstanding partnership with the ninth most valuable team in the NBA.

Additionally, the family-style atmosphere that surrounds the Spurs extends to formal coverage of the team and this, in turn, seems to shield the Spurs from negative headlines. The San Antonio Express-News is the only major newspaper in publication in the area, and as such, the only outlet that assigns beat writers to the Spurs. The writers themselves — Jabari Young, Dan McCarney, Mike Monroe, Jeff McDonald and columnist Buck Harvey — are among the best in the business, providing excellent analysis and commentary on one of the league’s crown jewels. Through their words, we have learned much about the Spurs’ iconic characters, from Popovich’s fatherly ways, to Tim Duncan’s love for Marvel comics. However, upon further observation, we are confronted with the fact that these writers are either unable or unwilling to dig a bit deeper, and present more nuanced character profiles about members of the beloved hometown team. The quenelle incident was only mentioned in passing by one writer, Dan McCarney, in a piece highlighting how “proud” head coach Gregg Popovich was in Tony Parker for his apology. The other writers chose (or were told by an editor) to let the story drift out of the headlines. Granted, this is understandable, considering Popovich’s exhaustively-chronicled grumpiness towards the media, the Spurs’ stinginess with national media requests, and the politics that must come with being the single major newspaper in a single sport town. While this engenders a positive relationship between the high-performing local team and the local press, it perpetuates the notion of the Spurs as infallible; of being incapable of truly making a mistake. This feeling seemingly extends to the blogosphere, where sites like 48 Minutes of Hell, Air Alamo and Pounding the Rock, offer tight but biased analysis for the favorite team of the writers, and in most cases, the only team where the writers themselves live. All of these individuals write for an audience that likely doesn’t want to hear about negative character traits or questionable actions. Instead, they write pieces that highlight the Spurs sense of selflessnesssacrifice, and longevity. It contributes to long-existing ideas of Spurs as airtight, and in many ways, beyond rebuke.

But the biggest reason that the Spurs don’t get the heat is because they are the Spurs, a statement that has become strangely self-evident. Kris Fenrich wrote about this elegantly a few months ago, as he watched the Spurs wrap up their fifth championship, listened to what people said about them, read the words people wrote about them, and took note of the spin:

All these attributes we associate with San Antonio: a group of humble pass-first players willing to take less money in pursuit of something bigger than themselves don’t necessarily align with everything they do and who they are. There’s the trite “Built vs. Bought” tweaking, the anecdote about Duncan never speaking to Parker that is frequently spun into a quaint story about earning respect, Popovich’s unnecessary treatment of journalists (which took countless awkward interviews before any mass condemnation occurred – perhaps because the same people in a position to criticize are those dependent on him for quotes and insight), stoic Duncan’s eye popping complaints aimed at officials, former Spur Bruce Bowen’s dirty play, and of course Parker’s questionable relationship with former teammate Brent Barry’s wife. If you want reasons, both on and off the court, to dislike the Spurs, there are plenty.

Indeed, Kris is correct: the Spurs contradictions make them difficult to analyze. The Spurs’ last championship cemented the legacy of the team, and thus, the primary figures who define the organization. Led by Pop, anchored by the Big Three, and supported by a lovable cast of global citizens who do not mind being cogs in a well-oiled machine, the Spurs were — and are — a team that defy much further explanation. For most, an opinion about the team has been made, and that opinion is not changing any time soon. They are both boring and not-boring at once, both old and not-old, both slow and definitely-not-slow. It is their contradictions that seemingly make them who they are; a small town team that can unseat the major markets, who can throw monkey wrenches in the best-laid plans of the league, who can prevent a LeBron vs Durant finals series from ever happening again in our lifetimes. It is they who can drive the NBA crazy despite being the strongest example of how smart team management can supersede any constrictions caused by market size, television exposure and name-brand recognition. Yet, it is important to remember that this is who they are because this is who we have made them out to be: a cult of personalities team who draw their strength from their seminal figures, and who only need to answer to those figures, and those figures alone, on a daily basis. And as long as the team keeps winning 55 or more games a year, and consistently participates in the NBA’s final four, there will be little by way of dissent from anyone who deigns to explain what makes the Spurs the Spurs, from either a local or a national perspective.

At this point, the Spurs are so heavy, they are almost totally beyond unpacking. They are a team that have made themselves by living almost completely on the margins, perched right on the border between two countries, playing by rules that only they can play by. It seems almost impossible that they can have shortcomings; that they can be linked to antisemitism, infidelity, drunken driving, sexual violence and outright bullying. But we are confronted by evidence that they do, and that they are; indeed, they are human, in a league populated with them. It is a shame that we won’t really get a picture of them that extends much beyond the Spurs system, which uses the media to skillfully gloss over negative character traits in an effort to keep the black-and-silver machine churning. As long as wins come, this will not be questioned.

About Jacob Greenberg

Jacob is a behaviorist by day, blogger by night, and founded the Diss. Follow him on Twitter @jacobjbg
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32 Responses to A Sinister Selfie: the San Antonio Spurs and their Character Issues.

  1. HoopDon says:

    Well written, but there really doesn’t seem to be much to go on, in terms of the alleged characters flaws of the Spurs.

    The link between Parker/Diaw and antisemitism is tenuous at best. The Quenelle was a popular gesture dubbed by a comedian, that was primarily used in a anti-establishment context. As is frequently the case, a couple idiots probably appropriated the gesture for mean-spirited/anti-Semitic purposes, but that is hardly a reflection on Parker/Diaw, or the many others using the Quenelle.

    As previously acknowledged, Green’s selfie was nothing more then thoughtlessness, a symptom of the whimsical selfie-culture, rather than another sinister cog in the potentially anti-Semitic Spurs organizations. On the list of screw-ups by NBA players, it might crack the Top-1000.

    On the Spurs-officials DUI front. DUI is obviously a problem, but many think little of the offense, due to the sad fact that DUI is relatively common in today’s society. The issue isn’t if someone is drinking/driving, but if they’ll be unlucky enough to get caught. That doesn’t make DUI okay, but its one of the reasons that few people get riled up over it.

    The Gary Neal rape story is self explanatory. He was (falsely) accused of rape, and acquitted. Really nothing here at all.

    The Pop-Doris Burke bit was ridiculous. Yes, Pop is infamous for his short responses during interviews (which everyone loves because they are hilarious and good fun). Doris Burke is apparently a little too emotional, and felt like crying after a classic Pop interview. There’s one person with a character flaw there, and its not Pop.

    Again, well written, but the piece aimed to examine why the Spurs’ character flaws aren’t more widely discussed; which is problematic, when there aren’t any real character flaws that have been established.

    Also, hope this didn’t come off as churlish. I’m a huge fan of the blog and your work. Also, sorry for the huge comment.

    • Kevin Draper says:

      We appreciate the comment, but it is a pretty ignorant one and I suggest you do a lot more reading and research.

      The quenelle is not “primarily used in an anti-establishment context”. The “anti-establishment” views of Dieudonne are inextricably linked with his anti-semetic views. They’re one in the same. You can’t separate one out from the other, and say the quenelle is only linked to one. Or are you trying to tell me the fact that there are hundreds of examples of people doing the quenelle outside of the Anne Frank museum, trains used to transport Jews to death camps, Auschwitz, synagogues and what not are just somehow “anti-establishment”?

      Gary Neal was not falsely accused of rape. Gary Neal was accused of rape and acquitted, which are incredibly different things. If you want, I can point you to the reams and reams of evidence that false accusations of rape are incredibly rare, the reams and reams of evidence that rape victim’s accounts aren’t trusted in court, that women who make rape accusations are accused of being sluts and all manners of nasty things etc. Rapists are very rarely prosecuted for their crime, and in this there wasn’t evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Neal committed a rape, which is a pretty common outcome (if a case gets to court at all). It is not the same thing, at all, as a false accusation.

      As far as your defense of DUI, that’s a pretty ridiculous tautology. You essentially argued “because DUIs are common place you shouldn’t get upset over DUIs.”

      DB and Pop: might want to reexamine your words and beliefs for the inherent sexism in there. “Doris Burke is apparently a little too emotional, and felt like crying after a classic Pop interview.” I mean, really? Doris Burke is trying to do her job, her job which pays Pop’s multi million dollar salary, he’s a dick to her, and it’s Doris Burke’s problem?

      There’s a fine and legitimate argument to be made that these issues are adequately covered by the media, or that they aren’t indicative of any widespread pathologies within the Spurs organization, but your downplaying of each issue isn’t supported by facts, logic or empathy.

      • HoopDon says:

        Kevin, a strength of this blog (and its writers) is that it can discuss controversial issues (and how they relate to sports) in a rational, well-mannered way, without devolving into the type of ugliness that’s often seen in other non-sports related venues. Calling me ignorant and sexist isn’t just a disservice to me, but a disservice to TheDiss and its readers. Chill.

        Nobody denies that there are examples of people using the Quenelle as a tool for anti-Semitism, attacking that straw-man doesn’t advances us. My issue, is that it’s been used FAR more in instances that are decidedly not anti-Semitic, and its early inception by Dieudonne wasn’t anti-Semitic either.

        The issue may boil down to this. You seem to believe that the Quenelle is a reflection/tribute to Dieudonne’s beliefs, which are a combination of anti-establishment and anti-Semitic views (while accusing me of ignoring the anti-Semitism portion). I believe that Quenelle is a reflection/tribute by the millions of people who use it, towards the particular causes they are championing (the overwhelmingly number of which aren’t anti-Semitic). I don’t feel like we are really far apart on this issue, simply that we aren’t seeing it at all through the same lens.

        I am admittedly confused by your comments on Gary Neal. Are you implying that he was falsely acquitted? And if so, based on what? Simply alluding to “reams” of evidence (some of which I could contest) showing that alleged rape victims are sometimes mistreated isn’t a substitute for the juries verdict. If there’s something CONCRETE about this case I’m missing, let me know.

        On DUI. The issue isn’t necessarily that “since DUI’s are commonplace, you shouldn’t get upset”, rather that, since DUI’s are commonplace, how can you assign it as a specific character flaw to the Spurs, when its a flaw committed with similar (if not greater) frequency, by all other teams/people. If you’ll permit a strained analogy, the Spurs are probably guilty of lying as well, but since everyone lies, you can’t use lying as an example of a character flaw that deserves greater scrutiny.

        Now for my “sexist” beliefs. I didn’t describe Doris Burke as an emotional crybaby because she’s a woman, but because she was acting like an emotional crybaby. Pop gives the same short answers for all interviews, which are nearly always met with amusement from the the ones conducting the interview, and laughter from the studio, the announcers, and the fans. Doris being one of the few (if not only) to react with near-tears, for no apparent reason other then she’s an emotional crybaby, IS her fault, and not a character flaw of Pop at all.

        Again, if there’s something you specifically know about these cases that wasn’t mentioned in the article, I’d love to know.

    • Jacob Greenberg says:

      Thanks for reading. I don’t mind huge comments.

      I would disagree with your reading of some of the issues I included in the piece. To me, they are issues. We’ve hashed out our differences about the quenelle before, and it looks like we’re both about where we were on that when we first discussed it in January. Whether or not the gesture is INTENDED to be offensive, it is offensive, and those guys are idiots for doing it. Gary Neal was acquitted of rape because the victim’s account didn’t hold up in court. I think you’re well-read enough to know that that’s a HUGE red flag; many victims of sexual assault are coerced to say things that didn’t happen, already are feeling emotions of guilt and shame, and thing things that may or may not be true. And with Burke vs Pop, I don’t think it’s your or my place to tell a person what to be offended by, and what not to be, especially if we’re not the people doing it.

      I’ll agree that the Green transgression is a minor one, which is why I went to great lengths to show that this was more indicative of a larger trend, rather than a huge problem.

      In the end, this is an issue that only is an issue if you personally feel it is one. I do. You don’t. So it goes.

      • T A says:

        “Gary Neal was acquitted of rape because the victim’s account didn’t hold up in court. I think you’re well-read enough to know that that’s a HUGE red flag; many victims of sexual assault are coerced to say things that didn’t happen, already are feeling emotions of guilt and shame, and thing things that may or may not be true.”

        That Neal was expelled from LaSalle and even prosecuted — not by some university tribunal, but in a court of law — shows that the accusations against him were taken FAR more seriously than the vast majority of sexual assaults.

        Neal’s accuser did testify at the trial and did not back down from her accusations at all, as media reports indicate.

        Neal was represented not by a high-powered attorney but by a public defender. (I imagine if you’re sensitive to what generally happens to victims of sexual assault, you probably have some idea of what the odds are for a young black man with a public defender accused of a felony in our justice system.)

        Casting vague aspersions on Neal (or the jury in this case, I guess?) is pretty unfair.

      • HoopDon says:

        Most of what I typed out to Kevin relates to the above, so I’ll spare you any unnecessary repetition.

        Its not so much that I feel like the issues you describe aren’t issues, but that they are extremely minor issues compared to other things that we could be talking about (related to the NBA).

  2. 2532 says:

    You forgot about the pic at a Halloween party of them pretending to assault Joey Crawford.

    Real class organization here. Like they always say it starts at the top, and their coach is class A douche, so its clear where it comes from. He treats the media like rats, and the sad part is seeing them kiss up to him after he has finished undressing them on national TV. Its like the sports version of priests who are molesting children behind the scenes, and everyone knows it, but no one wants to tarnish their holy image.

    This franchise is and always has been a fraud.

    • Jacob Greenberg says:

      Yeah. Following the publishing of this piece, lots of people came out and listed transgressions I forgot (the Halloween picture depicting Manu and Tony holding guns to Joey Crawford’s head being the most egregious). That certainly would have a place in this piece, too.

      The Pop vs Journalists argument is one of the weirder things in all of sports. Like weird reality tv, to see how uncomfortable we can see a rich dude make people who have to figure out how not to piss him off. All very strange.

    • Jacob H says:

      Sorry, but comparing child molestation by religious authority figures to a coach being mean to the media is absolutely absurd and disgusting. I get that the comparison is not meant to be a one-to-one thing, but jeez. Talk about missing the mark.

  3. Rick says:

    Go Spurs Go

  4. Navid says:

    “who can prevent a LeBron vs Durant finals series from ever happening in our lifetimes”

    I think you meant LeBron vs Kobe?

  5. Rob says:

    Go Spurs Go

  6. Your problem is timing. Gary Neal wasn’t a Spur when he was acquitted of rape; Tony Parker used a gesture of solidarity which was “much later” used to denigrate a religious/ethnic minority; accusations of infidelity, much like accusations of homosexuality/bisexuality in the midst of irreconcilable differences divorces is tabloid fodder not really the stuff of sport’s journalists/bloggers, nor their readers; Coach Bud was no longer an employee of the SA Spurs organization; Doris Burke drew minor attention because her interview didn’t occur in real time, if her questions were anything like those asked on air in real time it’s not surprising that most viewers sympathize with coach Pop. Maybe you should put TMZ on the job.

    • Jacob Greenberg says:

      all fair critiques, and thanks for reading. i don’t disagree with your assessment that the timing is off. i just don’t really think a person changes a ton whether they’re aligned with the spurs or not. in fact, i think that idea comes with the mystique of the spurs.

      to be clear, i’m not really arguing that the spurs actually do have a character issue problem. i’m pointing out that it’s interesting that that question is rarely asked, despite evidence that suggests otherwise.

  7. Ike says:

    This has got to be a joke all the way around?!?
    The tony Parker gesture is offensive because a group of people find it offensive is fair in itself to say it’s offensive! But if tony Parker in anyway felt he was anti Jewish then why would he appoligize and remove his relationship with that actor/comedian! But no let’s just paint tony Parker with the fattest brush out there and say he has a he a Jewish problem. Danny green did something that he probably shouldn’t have done but there was no way he was laughing at the fact Jews had died but referring to the fact he takes to many selfies….. -_- but he knew later on that some found it tasteless to take a selfie and appoligized as that was not he’s intent to hurt those who have already suffered. To say he was to a extent anti Semitic or that tony Parker and Danny green is anti Semitic in anyway is far fetched to say the least.

    Tony Parker was married to Eva longoria when the time who were also finalizing their own divorce along with the Barry’s. But there hasn’t been any indication they slept with one another while they have amitted to sexting. but hey your the one on moral high ground to say what two couples can or can’t do right, I’m glad you could tells us that sexting another lady/wife of a teamate who is also going through a divorce is wrong?

    Now your Gary Neal assumption that all women have told the truth when acussing men in positions of wealth and money of rape and that them lying about it never happens. So he have her testimony but she was coerced into saying something she didn’t mean is like saying her lawyer wasn’t there for her at all. He was acquitted in a court of law that’s not enough for you is it?

    Driving under the influence is a horrible thing I remember talk radio here in San Antonio was just livid that our GM thought he was over the law and that he didn’t get anything but a slap on the wrist. But looking back on it now how many repeat offenders of DUI are still out there driving and just stay the night downtown and get out the next day? Your point is correct there but to say our respected journalist didn’t cover it when it happened is a lie……bro

    I think your trying to shine a light on a organization that handles itself as one of the best sport franchise in all of sports as some anti Semitic drunken driving bunch of people. People make mistakes we deal with the consequences and it’s our choice to learn from them which case in point with Tony and Danny have amitted fault in their roles in appearing anti Semitic and have thous appoligized for it!

    Your pulling for straws and it’s showing it what your arguments are about just work for tmz because your trying to say the spurs are something they’re not and history clearly shows from both sides of glass that they are.

    • Jacob Greenberg says:

      sounds like you read my piece thinking “man, this guy thinks my favorite team has a character problem!” i’d invite you to reread it, and think of it as me asking “why don’t we ever talk about the spurs having character issues?”

      because frankly — and i can tell you’re a fan — your defensiveness sorta lends itself to my larger argument.

      • Ike says:

        You really discredit yourself by implying that because I’m defensive that means what I brought up merit no weight in the argument. You have still failed to argue or show proof that Danny green and tony Parker are anti Semitic .
        Maybe your next article is how little intelligence you can have to be more than a blogger on the web! Or how you can ignore facts and make baseless claims in articles you post.
        Please sir stick to facts before slandering people for character flaws

  8. tyler says:

    Best thing you said here was that they are indeed human. Yes the human condition does not escape anyone who can call themselves a human, so my question is why even bother writing this article? Are you bored? Bitter? No one writes this stuff because the spurs image is only glorified in a small population across the US, and half of that population is San Antonio itself. The spurs are seen as the dark horse every single year, and have been since TD was drafted. Only this year are they considered because and ONLY because lebron switched teams which caused enough doubt to put the cavs as the projected East champ. No see, what you should of wrote was about how despite their flaws (which you were humble enough to admit everyone has), they continue to stand for something bigger than themselves. They represent family, loyalty, trust, and unity. The last part is the most important. EIGHT different countries are represented on the spurs. Meaning their global impact and the virtues they display on a night in and night out basis are being seen on a GLOBAL scale. Their shortcomings are overlooked simply because on a some level they have the farthest reach of impact. And this offers hope to many worldwide, not just in San Antonio or in the US. Your attempts to destroy an image so impactful for good is just as bad as all of the aforementioned social crimes (except for Gary Neal rape case. But this does not reflect the spurs org nearly as much as NBA, as the pickings for stand up guys in NBA is already slim). You don’t like feel good stories, you obviously have never represented something bigger than yourself. You are digging for dirt, when in fact there is undeniably dirt to find, once again I ask why? On another note, the implication that PATFO has a media strategy to cover up the internal operations to hide something is preposterous. The spurs are the most transparent team in the NBA, it is everyone else who surrenders to the medias every whim that is fake. That’s why its so easy to catch others messing up, and also why its such big news. The spurs do not CLAIM to be high and mighty, they are put there by the rest of the world because of their actions. As a reporter you may not believe this, but actions speak louder than any words you say or write. For instance, the Roger Goodell situation. He wouldn’t have his feet to the fire nearly as much had he offered honesty and transparency. But BC as a people we see contradictory statements to his actions, we (and the media) became in uproar. That doesn’t happen to the spurs BC they only let their actions speak, as their words are few. To imply anything else just means you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

    Maybe we will draft Jesus Christ next year, he could maybe help you think of the spurs on a brighter way.

    • Jacob Greenberg says:

      you, sir, are very invested in your team.

      the point of the piece was not “tyler’s favorite team has character issues.” the point of the piece was “tyler’s team doesn’t seem to have character issues associated with it, despite evidence suggesting the contrary. i wonder why?”

      sorry you misread the piece.

      • tyler says:

        Lol funny. Indeed, I am invested in my team. But no, I didn’t misread the piece. Maybe I misread your character, or possibly gave you too much credit for being a good writer (my bad, I’m sure the diss is a very prestigious news outlet in the sports world, but what do I know all I read is the SA express news). And yes, probably was a little steamed that anyone would actually purposefully point out character flaws of a team that is known for recruiting and drafting high character guys (more steamed BC that team is my team). For gods sake, the title of the piece has “the san Antonio spurs and their character issues” in it. Dont see how far off base I could be. We seem to not understand each other, so let me make MY point more clear. You just wasted maybe 30 minutes of your life writing an article about a team no one cares about calling to question some character issues that were a reach to begin with. So what conclusion am I to draw about WHY you wrote it? That’s all my question was. Why write this? You make me sound like a bama fan on the Paul Finebaum show. All I was asking was a question and simply putting forth my reasoning for why it was a question worthy of being answered. But from a reader standpoint, you have to get your props for digging, and bro you are REALLY digging. I was laughing during most of the article because it was obvious how much research and effort you put into writing it. I kept thinking, “this guy is writing from an emotion, and a serious one.” Hence why I asked my question, for my purpose was only to uncover which emotion you were writing from. But logic surely wasn’t involved, nor was objectivity. Eh you tried. I’ll follow you on twitter so I can witness you make the big leap into a major publication one day. But seeing as Pop will probably be dead, and twitter will surely have been replaced by something equally stupid, I guess this is farewell. Good luck though

  9. SpringBranchCards says:

    First Time On This Site. This Blog Has Zero Merit.
    I Won’t Be Coming Back Here. dude Is Clearly A Hater!

  10. Cham says:

    Thanks for the piece. As a spurs fan I’d love to read something new about the team in general. You reasoning though, is at best, creative. And when I say creative it means it’s not well-founded.

    You reasoning is something like this (Let’s call it reasoning M for mystification):

    a) The Spurs’, like any other teams with human, got character flaws. Maybe less, but still there’s much
    b) It’s just the media not talking about it, because it doesn’t fit some sort of spurs narrative.
    And thus:
    c) The spurs is depicted in a rather mystified, probably too-positive way.

    But there is a much more common sense explanation, namely the spurs is just that kind of a team. They are depicted in such a way because it’s more or less the truth (Let’s call it explanation T).

    So which is the better explanation? Q or T? If you ask me, the burden of proof is supposed to be on you, but given today’s media quality I’ll sweep that away. But still, I expect you to list out way more evidence to support your claim. It’s far from enough to suggest ‘the contrary’. Above all the problems you have cited, The Quenelle thing and the Neal case are the serious ones. But you have not been able to demonstrate there’s something really bad behind it – yeah TP and Diaw may be crazy racist just being spinned off and Neal is really another rapist acquitted – but you have like zero evidence/justification to support that kind of claim. Merely citing a ‘possibility’ is not enough. If anything it makes explanation M look like bashing.

    I do think there are some deep issues with respect to the power of Spurs and the media though. The one special thing about the Spurs is that they have a lot of power over the media, locals or national alike. They are not afraid of the media, to say the least. Pop can do as he like. The team need not to market a lot or answer too many questions from the media. And you got it right – it’s because they got their long-time commercial partners, and the ownership decide to allow RC/Pop to run the team this way. This current power structure/network enables the team to do so. In a sense, they can just shut up the media unless something big really happens. But you do not need to say ‘yeah because of the Spurs is in such power they can prevent us from seeing the real spurs’. You can just point out the above fact.

    Also, it is this power which gives them to get less distracted from off-ball issues, which IMO is detrimental to the team. And also, let’s say the media got more leverage over the Spurs, who says they are going to tell us the real spurs anyway?

  11. birdie says:

    You don’t like to be called ignorant? Then don’t write ignorant articles or make ignorant comments. In this country, you are innocent until proven guilty. Gary Neal was acquired; hence, he was proven innocent of the charge. And that is absolutely all there is to say about it. Speculating that he “might really be guilty” because his school was terrified of lawsuits is both specious and spurious.

    And “character issues,” because Pop is rude to reporters? Really stretching there. I personally despise reporters and would certainly be rude to one if it accosted me, so I consider his behavior perfectly appropriate.

    I suspect your own personal issues color your opinion here. That’s perfectly normal, but don’t claim to be a disinterested observer; you aren’t.

  12. sophia says:

    You went through all that back round to trouble to discredit the spurs
    I don’t see the point

    Are u saying its weird that the newspaper focuses on the positives in them

    • Jacob says:

      Sorta. Was pointing out that it was interesting that, despite evidence suggesting the contrary, that the Spurs did not get label of a team that occasionally suffers from lack of character issues. It seems exceptional to the rest of the NBA.

      Thanks for reading Sophia.

  13. Trip says:

    I like the Spurs organization, and public persona of the players and staff. I think your post was a nice reminder of the good and sometimes not so good things associated with the team. But even the blemishes your post reviewed, as far as professional sports personalities are concerned, as a whole the Spurs are choirboys.

  14. Corbin Smith says:

    What a good article. And the writer seems like a nice boy!

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