The San Antonio Spurs have dominated the NBA landscape for years. Whether it be deep playoff runs or winning four titles, the Spurs have become a perennial powerhouse in the NBA which to the chagrin of the rest of the teams in the league. Add the fact the Spurs have former staff all over the NBA, whether it be head coaches or top personnel in the front office, San Antonio has become an empire. Or perhaps they are an "evil" organization like "the empire" in the "Star Wars" movies according to the New Orleans Hornets.
And of course one cannot think of the empire in "Star Wars" without thinking of the empire's galactic enforcer... Darth Vader.
Vader exuded confidence, intimidation, swagger, and an aura of dominance much like the Spurs do in the eyes of opposing teams. Teams know they have to be their best for four quarters if they want to best the Spurs. If they don't, the Spurs will crush them with a steady diet of choking-defense much like Vader's "Force choke" powers.
Check out the image on the Hornets' big screen where the Spurs received the Darth Vader treatment prior to the game. Personally, I think it is pretty cool the Spurs got this comparison.