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Old 05-09-06, 12:50 AM
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Cary Clack: They're all out to get the NBA champs

Cary Clack: They're all out to get the NBA champs
San Antonio Express-News

Over the weekend, the San Antonio Spurs received three generous considerations from the NBA and ABC Television.

The first was that the Spurs didn't have to open their playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks on the same night they closed their playoff series against the Sacramento Kings.

Befitting the respect that should be given to the DEFENDING NBA CHAMPIONS, the league and television network, after having the Spurs play the late game Friday night, gave them an entire 36 hours to fly 1,500 miles and rest before having them play the early game on Sunday afternoon.

The second consideration was that the Spurs didn't have to play their first home game in Hartford, Conn., and were allowed to actually play in San Antonio.

The third gift of munificence came after Bruce Bowen's game-winning three-pointer when officials conferred and decided that he did indeed ask, "Mother, may I?" before launching his bomb and thus wouldn't be penalized.

Before Game 2 tonight, the Spurs will be required to catch a morning flight to Massachusetts, run the Boston Marathon course, catch a flight back to San Antonio, hopscotch from the airport to the AT&T Center and then jump through rings of fire before taking the court.

The Spurs and San Antonio as a city shouldn't be so hypersensitive that the DEFENDING NBA CHAMPIONS were asked to make such a quick turnaround for the Dallas series and that they weren't given the top billing of the late Sunday afternoon television slot.

That honor, instead, went to the first game of the playoff series between the Detroit Pistons — which the Spurs beat last year to become the DEFENDING NBA CHAMPIONS — and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are led by the outrageously precocious LeBron James.

It's of little consequence that on paper and on the court, the Spurs-Mavericks series promises to be the best and most closely contested. So what if the massacre at the Little Bighorn was closer than Game 1 of Detroit-Cleveland?

Before tip-off of Game 3 between San Antonio and Dallas, the Spurs must first take a flight to the Himalayas, bring back evidence of the existence of the Abominable Snowman and, on the return flight, watch the home movies of the birth of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' baby, narrated by Cruise in person.

San Antonio shouldn't feel slighted or think that the league and networks don't give them the props they deserve for being the DEFENDING NBA CHAMPIONS who have won two of the last three titles and three of the last seven.

The Spurs got to play the Pistons on Christmas Day 2004 in Detroit. That was a huge holiday matchup between the two teams who'd played in the previous season's finals. It made perfect sense that the Spurs should have to travel and the Pistons have the luxury of staying at home. After all, that's a perk and sign of respect of the Pistons being the current defending NBA champions. Right?

Before the Spurs compete in the the Western Conference Finals, they will be asked to consider changing their name and moving to New York.

Should the Spurs advance to the NBA Finals — to DEFEND THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP — they will be asked to complete five of the 12 tasks of Hercules, including cleaning the Augean Stables and capturing the Cretan Bulls.

If the Spurs repeat as champions, they won't be allowed, next season, to see their schedule of games. They will have to guess when and where they play and forfeit the games they miss.
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