The video below highlights the Spurs playing team basketball, which is when basketball is at it’s most beautiful form.
The Spurs do not sign or draft players that do not fit their system and the players that appreciate the system seem to stay with the team for many years. What Popovich has done with Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker has been unbelievable for the game of basketball. You see great fundamental basketball with a lot of passing, high percentage shots, and most importantly, hard defense. The way they play the game is the best way for it to be played.
The Pacers, Thunder, and Heat tend to have a lot of one man shows in order to win a game. For the Thunder it is either Durant or Westbrook catching fire and their team taking the game from there. Sometimes Durant will drop 30 and they will still lose.
When LeBron is on, (I hate to admit this) the Heat are unstoppable. When he is on fire its contagious to his team.
Nobody really knows is who is going to show up for the Pacers, but whether it be George, Stevenson, or West, they always need somebody to lead the show.
The Spurs on the other, are a team that get solid performance top to bottom when they win their games. Yes Duncan, Parker, and Ginoboli have went off and scored a ton of points some games, but the one man show is rarely a part of their recipe for winning. This team shows how beautiful basketball can really be. Obviously Kevin Durant’s stroke is a pretty sight and watching Lebron’s athletic ability is fun to watch, but for me it does not come close to the beauty of a perfect executed pick and roll, or an extra pass that created an easier shot for another player.
When there are five players on the floor all playing selflessly, that is when the game of basketball is beautiful. The Spurs bring back shades of the days of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. When everybody on the floor was playing hard defense and there was constant ball movement that created unbelievable plays.
Michael Jordan changed the game forever by coming to the league and showing what one man do for a team. Then players like Kobe, Lebron, and Durant have continued the superstar trend. Of course it is a very marketable trend and is something the NBA loves for their business. Unfortunately people can never forget about the business and the numbers.
What about the game of basketball? A game that when played right is beautiful. A game that a lot of people are able to play. An international game what brings millions together. Why doesn’t the art of the game matter to people? Why isn’t teamwork appreciated? People are too easily entertained by slam dunks and deep threes. What is fun to watch is a group of people on the same page going for the same goal. Playing whatever their role is for the team and every act they do is for their team. Nobody on the Spurs is trying to boost their image for endorsements, people play for that team to win a championship.
The youth are all trying to be the next King James or KD when there is nothing wrong with being Bruce Bowen. It would be best for the sport for the Spurs to win the championship because they exemplify teamwork and the great things groups of people can do when they come together. The NBA needs to promote teamwork, not one man shows if the league wants to preserve the beauty of the game.