Tonight the top two teams in the West will collide as the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder will face each other for the second time this season.
Though the Spurs have defeated OKC this season 86-84 and hold the overall series advantage (83-63) but with the Spurs losing four-straight to the Thunder in last season's Western Conference Finals after San Antonio was up two games in the series, might have set the tone for a new rivalry budding in the NBA.
Yet despite this, Tony Parker feels there is no Spurs-Thunder rivalry... yet.
During the post-game media session after the Spurs-Celtics game, Parker weighed in on whether or not there is a rivalry between the two teams and says it comes up short when compared to the days of the Lakers and Mavericks.
"No not yet. Not like the Lakers or the Mavericks. When I first arrived, the Lakers were a rivalry but I'm sure it's starting. It's starting to become a rivalry but I cant compare it to Dallas or the Lakers."
Of course nothing will come close to the days of the Lakers, Mavs and Spurs battling it out for the West crown but TP is right to say a budding rivalry may be growing.
Aside from last season's West Finals series, there was Stephen Jackson calling out Serge Ibaka this season, the similarities between the two franchises (Sam Presti bringing the Spurs' system to OKC) and how there is a high chance these two teams may be the last standing once again battling for a chance to go back to the NBA Finals.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Is there a Spurs-Thunder rivalry or not?
Definitely agree with Tony. I was sad the Spurs lost to OKC in the playoffs the way they did. But at the end of the day, I didn't mind too much because I admire Kevin Durant as a person and a player and thought, at least for the most part, that he and his teammates were relatively humble in their victory. And like us, they came from a small market whose fans, unlike those fools across the country who like to buy Kobe jerseys and vulgarly poke fun at everyone else, were genuinely and fervently into the run their team was making. I would have even preferred that the Thunder beat the Heat.
Now if the Spurs had suffered that same 4 game slide against the likes of the Lakers and Kobe Bryant's stupid, soulless, all encompassing essence of self-righteous arrogance, I would still be ticked even to this day. The idea of waking up in the morning in a world where Kobe is not only defending a championship, but would have had two more championships then Tim Duncan would have been too much for me to endure. Let alone the unimaginable boost to his ego that equating Michael Jordan's six championships would have had.
In sum, I hate the Lakers and all the big spending, flashiness, and ego they stand for with every ounce of my soul. They are the antithesis of the Spurs way. They are the embodiment of evil. They're poopy. Ick.
The Thunder have a long way to go to become that evil. And while I certainly will root against them when they play the Spurs, their small market and front office savvyness is almost too much a mirror image of San Antonio for me to muster an ounce of hatred towards. The exception to this was Derek Fisher last season. That big dumb head..
I don't want to say no because both teams have had good battles against each other, but I don't know if I can say yes because it's still only been a few seasons since the Thunder became an NBA team. But yeah, I do think it can become a rivalry.