There are two words used to describe the San Antonio Spurs the past few (or many?) years: old and boring.
These two words are also the words experts and analysts say the Spurs are not.
Old? Well, Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili are old, maybe even Stephen Jackson. But the rest are young guys.
They say if you find the Spurs boring, you don’t appreciate the fundamentals of basketball, which is what the Spurs play with: fundamentals. That’s the reason one of Tim Duncan’s nicknames is The Big Fundamental. He uses basic low post moves. But he has become such a master at them that he is so hard to stop.
I’ve been watching the Spurs almost every time they’re in the Playoffs, usually going up against the team I root for (most notably the Phoenix Suns in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010; and the Oklahoma City Thunder this year). I appreciate their craft, especially this year when they are one of the top scoring teams in the league while also playing quick. But still, when I watch their home games, I get bored.
Why, you ask? The hint lies there in the last sentence I wrote.
It’s their home court. The basketball court of AT&T Center in San Antonio is composed of two colors: black and wood brown. The Spurs logo, with only black, white, and silver, lies in center court. The paint area is black, as well as the sidelines. The lighting of the audience sections are not so bright. Combine a not-so-bright lighting with a bland, dark-themed court, plus a TV network to broadcast the game.
Compare that with Oklahoma City’s skyblue court, or Miami’s fastfood-colored court, or Boston’s green, Chicago’s red, Philadelphia’s red, white, and blue. Almost all teams have courts which are pleasing to the eyes. Memphis’ homecourt also has a dark color to it (deep ocean blue? navy blue? I don’t know what to call it), but their brand of basketball is more casual-fan-friendly than the Spurs’. Also, the Grizzlies’ logo is more striking than the Spurs’.
What does TV court appearance have to do with anything? How many people watch San Antonio live in a season? Maybe every team’s home crowd plus the San Antonio faithful. What if you’re a New Yorker and San Antonio is playing Phoenix? You turn to your TV and watch them there. And when you tune in, you see black, you see monotone, plus Tim Duncan posting up and the Spurs running a half court play set. No eye candy anywhere: court looks boring, play is slow.
Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, the casual fan will watch San Antonio play not because of the Spurs, but because of who they’re playing (see: Playoffs 2012).
No, I don’t find the Spurs boring. It’s their homecourt that LOOKS boring.
Plus that nasty reputation they’ve built up over the years.