I don't mean to kick the fanbase when they're down, but I was concerned about their front line depth and overall athleticism a long time ago. Spurs' fans busted my chops quite a bit for even suggesting that the league leaders would need to address roster issues back in February. They especially didn't seem interested when I voiced my concern again after the NBA Trade deadline.
Let me assure you that this is NOT an "I told you so" type of article. In fact, having absolutely idolized David Robinson as youngster and therefore followed this franchise closely for nearly the past twenty years, I can't begin to tell you how much I respect Tim Duncan, Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs in general.
Case in point, the best interview I ever had during my days as an NBA correspondent was sitting down with Avery Johnson, then coach of the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. We didn't talk about the Mavs, their Playoff run or anything current.
Rather, he graciously granted me nearly half an hour to chat about "The Admiral" and the Spurs teams of the 1990s. I think he enjoyed the trip down memory lane as much as I did.
Rest assured when I say that I want to see the Spurs continue their dynasty. I don't want to see the end of Manu Ginobili's prime and Tim Duncan's career spent on a competent Western Conference afterthought.
This is tough love here, but it comes from an admirer of the franchise, not a hater.
Let me be the first to tell you that I was NOT surprised at all to see San Antonio struggle in the Playoffs. Granted, I didn't think they would be so definitively ousted in the First Round, but I didn't feel they were Championship caliber, despite their winning 61 games this year.
Here's how the Spurs got to where they are, and why the dynasty doesn't have to end...