It's a sad but true statement that every Spurs fan has realized at some moment of his or her life. After watching an early episode of ESPN, or noticing the lack of "silver and black" on the NBA homepage, no fan can argue that the Spurs are shunned by national media and, as a result, other NBA fans.
And now the Lakers and the Thunder are the Western favorites for this year's NBA Finals.
Well, why not San Antonio? In the three games they played against the Lakers, the Spurs walked away victors twice. The same result occurred in the series versus Oklahoma City.
The Spurs are the hottest team in the league right now, currently on an eight-game win streak—not to mention that each game was decided by double digits. They've also won 22 of their last 25 and have officially clinched the No. 1 seed in the West.
So why do the Spurs receive such minimal amounts of recognition by media? Here are a few reasons explaining the enigma that has caused such uproar throughout San Antonio.
San Antonio is the seventh-most populated city in the US. However, the Spurs are far from being a big-market team.
While Tony Parker has been quietly putting together a career season, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin stole the show, despite only putting together a small handful of quality games.
Why? Because the Spurs are a small-market team.
Unlike in the Big Apple, where Madison Square Garden is equivalent to the White House, the Spurs, despite their talent, do not draw the views of fans other than the devoted ones in San Antonio.
Los Angeles, Chicago and New York are the kings of basketball and can be found on national TV several times a week. However, on the rare occasion that a Spurs game is televised nationally, it is usually in the case that their opponents are one of these above-mentioned teams.
In the offseason or during the trade deadline, certain players and teams dominate the headlines.
First came LeBron James' decision, then the Carmelo Anthony drama and now the Dwight Howard never-ending saga. In each of those, certain teams seem to consistently make appearances, whereas other teams never seem to be involved.
The Spurs are one of those teams. They build through the draft, and aside from a few small trades, the team never seems to make any large additions to its roster.
In the end, the NBA just wants to please its fans. When Miami pieced together the Big Three, it suddenly became one of the most popular teams in the league.
When Lob City was formed, fans were immediately provided with another different, exciting team.
Yet, in San Antonio, the core consisting of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker has gone untouched since the final member was drafted in 2001. While they are still one of the most affective trios in the league, after a while fans who do not devote their hearts to San Antonio become thirsty for a change.
No Spurs fan can deny the fact that they have seen the hateful comments labeling the Spurs as an "old, boring team."
In many ways, the Spurs are in fact a very boring team. Rarely do they make the top-10 plays list (with the exception of this nifty pass), nor do they show much emotion.
Tim Duncan, though one of the greatest players in NBA history, is known for his basic play style. While other big men can be found dunking on every opponent, Duncan's simple but effective style of play has earned him the nickname "The Big Fundamental."
Gregg Popovich too is known for showing little emotion, no matter what the situation. When the two most important people to the organization have this state of mind, it begins to rub off.
The team is a fundamentally sound basketball team. With the Clippers looking for every opportunity to bring the crowd to their feet, the Spurs are content settling with a simple layup.
Media outlets, and fans who follow the sport for its entertainment, are not in it to see layup after layup, no matter how good the team is. They prefer a mediocre team who will astonish you with incredible dunks, despite not possessing the true talent that a team like the Spurs do.
Duncan's persona of being quiet but effective does not only translate to his on-the-court play. Along with many other Spurs, Duncan seems to "blend in" off the court.
While other players are constantly getting in to trouble, the Spurs never have that problem. Even the known headcase Stephen Jackson has seemingly disappeared from the media since joining San Antonio.
This gives the media even more reasons to look past the Spurs when choosing an interesting headline. The team may be exciting to true fans, but to others they might as well be a more talented version of the Bobcats.
Maybe that's taking it too far, but still—it is undeniable that their "be seen but not heard" style makes them one of the least interesting teams in the league.
They boast four titles, yet that seems to be overlooked by the first-round loss in last year's playoffs. When a one-seed makes such an early exit, it is sure to catch the eye of some critics, who were blind when the Spurs quietly racked up a handful of rings.
I'd be lying if I had told you that I haven't heard the Spurs called the "grandpas of the NBA." With Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili nearing the end of their careers, the Spurs have been labeled as old.
While it is no denying that Ginobili and Duncan are old, many fans don't realize the rest of the team is not. Neither Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair, Danny Green, James Anderson, Patty Mills, nor Kawhi Leonard has played more than three years in the NBA.
Even Tony Parker, despite 11 years of experience, is only 29—an age that in no way classifies him as old.
However, in fans' eyes, he has been around long enough for fans to get bored of him. He, Duncan and Ginobili are no longer the Big Three of the NBA, as that title belongs to Miami's trio.
The younger, more exciting teams, like the Thunder and the Bulls, are the ones catching fans' eyes as potential champions, while experienced teams like San Antonio and Boston are constantly overlooked.
Maybe if they win the championship they will finally get the respect they deserve. Until then, don't find it surprising if they are once again pushed aside to make room for the Thunder, Heat and Bulls.