The Spurs: A New World Symphony
2001 NBA basketball had a very different landscape. The MVP was a PG, who carried scoring titles at a herculean level, but never adapted his game to the benefit of his 76ers teamates. The 2 time NBA champions featured two of the greatest players of all time, coached by the greatest coach of all time, winning despite many self imposed obstacles. And the fad of (European born and schooled players) seemed to signal a new wave of basketball player. Teams like the Dallas Mavericks and the Sacramento Kings seemingly adopted the new euro player into their systems and found success where they , as organizations had rarely seen before. As the decade drew on, Euro players (born and stars internationally made) played well but never brought much success save for 1 team. The fad came and went, names like Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Jiri Welch seemed to be too common for most teams, and many seemed to lose interest in fundamentally sound players who seemed to lack American grit found on concrete school yards across the nation.
The Lone exception of course if the team of the decade The San Antonio Spurs. In a 10 year span, they hoisted 4 titles, most 50 win seasons in NBA history, and have been on the forefront of the new wave of basketball. While many teams gave up on the euro player, the Spurs invested heavily in players like Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Fabricio Oberto , Beno Udrih, Rasho Nesterovich. The spurs in turn created a style of play that delivered 3 titles from 2003-2007, predicated on Defense, unselfish ball distribution, fearless shooting from beyond the 3 point ark, and above all a passion to excel. This 1st generation stared eye to eye with Purple and Gold Goliath, and dismissed the 3 time champions in short order. When the upstart Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks tried to eclipse the Spurs, the Spurs time and again answered their challenge and kept them from titles.
Now I see the Spurs are yielding success from the 2nd generation of Euro players. Names like De Colo, Splitter, Diaw, Mills, seem to power the Spurs machine and compliment their for bearers nicely. However the key to the Spurs success has been their seemless blend of American born players and European stars, to play a seemingly new Hybrid form of basketball. Splendid passing and fast breaks predicated on defensive rebounds and steals. 3 guards flying down the lane only to reward the deft hands of a lumbering Brazilian center.
Guards working the pick and roll to scientific perfection rewarding 3 pt shooters on the wing or rolling big men with great hands. American and International players, playing as one seamless unit, powered by the passion for game. This form of Spurs ball to newer fans seems alien and altogether innovative, however to the astute observer, one can see the brilliant Argentinian national team passing to centers in the high post, beautiful cuts and set plays that beat NBA All Stars in 2002. Spurs Fans may recognize the suffocating defense from 1999 that grew out of gang rebounding and smart players making the smart plays. Fans of basketball have seen the same level of play from Showtime Lakers , Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks of the early 1970s. We are aren't seeing anything new, its just the make up of players that is truly innovative and what has kept the spurs one step ahead of the rest of the league.
Epilogue: The Chief Architect and Foundation of the success don't mind hiding in the shadows, their multiple MVPs and Coach of the Years speak for themselves.
[Editor's Note] The Spurs success in the past two seasons isn't merely the emergence of the 2nd generation of international players, it's there beautiful blend with traditional American players on this team. Players like Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, Cory Joseph, and Kawhi Leonard not only excel playing in a pseudo european style, they seem to lend a certain improvisational element many American born and bred ball players hone from school yards to college. The ability to dribble, and get into the lane or improvise shots in the teeth of the defense without getting too out of control. This American ball dominating handles and eye for tough shots, coupled with pin point passing, and fundamental screen cuts is the progeny of International Stars and Modern American Basketball. This isn't imitation FIBA, nor is it the Example of AAU super teams. This is a beautiful new game, with a legacy in the past, but born of players from across the world. Some call it Spurs Ball.
Spurs ball is team ball.
Keep on winning guys!
Great Read SleepyAdamII. :thumb
Make no mistake Pop's well done new system and RC Buford's super brilliant finding gems are all inspired by this HOF Tim Duncan GREATNESS ERA!!! Those GREATLY Super talented Empowered fitting pieces are fitting here for a reason and this reason will not be the same without Tim Duncan around to inspire this with hard work and dedication to motivate this great coach Pop to keep on going building such superior system.
Pop had been mixing his small ball experiments since 2008 the year after we won that title in 07 and every year we could see some progress but it was not enough for one reason to another those Spurs got stumbled in the PO!!! Other NBA teams adapted and got some good pieces too so they won since 08 alas Spurs could not put it all together since then despite all those super talented players and having top seeds in the PO.
Finally Pop found some neat formula that we can see it working in this new changed NBA era!!!!
This new Spurs Ball or Spurs System is going to be remembered forever!!!! Worldwide! As one Historical Model of New Era of Basketball system. Granted they continue their successful ways in keeping the winning tradition again this year too. Hopefully they win it all this year! Which is Long Due!
Go Spurs Go
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