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Back to Business

By Daniel Strickland on November 14, 2005.

I’m glad to see the sports press gradually lose interest in the Spurs. During the weeks leading up to the season, the Spurs were getting lots of coverage, either because they were being picked to defend their title, or because people just couldn’t figure out why they were losing their preseason games. And the question on everyone’s mind seemed to be, are the Spurs a dynasty in the making, or not?

All it took was two losses to change all that. First the Spurs lost to the Mavericks, and Steve Kerr, one of the less surprising Spurs cheerleaders, tried to make it newsworthy by calling it a “bludgeoning.”

Then the Spurs lost to the suprisingly good Washington Wizards, thanks to a huge game by Gilbert Arenas, and the press again tried to make it a story. This time Steve Kerr said that the Spurs were “spanked,” and even ranked the Wizards 2nd in his weekly power rankings.

What’s the headline on Yahoo! Sports at this moment? “Who can beat the Wiz? Not the defending champs.”

What the press hasn’t noticed, or at least reported much, is that the Spurs starting center, Nazr Mohammed, missed most of the preseason and is still adjusting, and our star forward, Manu Ginobili, is recovering from an injury. Barry and Finley are out now with injuries, too, however minor. The Spurs aren’t 100 percent, and yet they’ve still won 5 out of 7 games.

How early in the season is it? Consider this: the Spurs are tied for first place in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Clippers, and just a game ahead of the Utah Jazz in third place!?

Ok, we’ve been as guilty as anyone of touting the strengths of this team, but here at we know that it’s a long season — 82 games followed by 16 to 20-odd playoff games. And we know that Coach Popovich is less concerned about winning every game now than he is about working with what he has, figuring out the best rotations, and keeping his men healthy.

So all you sports hacks out there — Kerr, this means you, too — get back to business, reporting on Kobe Bryant’s every move, asking whether the New York Knicks will be any better under Larry Brown, and talking about the Sacramento Kings showing videos of Detroit burning, while our San Antonio Spurs get back to business.

You have advertising to sell, and the Spurs have a title to defend.

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