I know the season ended last night for the San Antonio Spurs; but as a Spurs fan, you should hang your head high to be able to support such a professional franchise.
Our good friend Chip Crain at 3 Shades of Blue (Grizzlies site) helped us numerous times throughout this series in all facets of playoff coverage. Last night after the Grizzlies eliminated the Spurs, Crain wrote a great piece about defeating the Spurs that makes you proud to be a part of this franchise.
Crain called the piece Thank You San Antonio. But, it is not an article in which someone gloats about beating a team, instead he thanks the Spurs for their consummate professionalism and feels they set a great example for his young Grizzlies team to follow.
I truly believe the Spurs are a classy team, a classy organization and there isn't a better franchise for the Grizzlies to get their first playoff victory against than San Antonio.
Manu Ginobili is an incredible competitor with the heart of a champion. Tim Duncan is one of the greatest players I have ever seen play. Tony Parker has become a true leader and has a deadly shot. The Spurs represented their franchise and their city with class and it was an honor to watch them play.
I have seen a lot of teams handle a situation like this with a loss less honor and dignity.
This series was emotional and hard fought from the beginning. For a team that has had so much success in the past it would have been easy to have an attitude of disrespect or disgust. When the outcome was no longer in doubt the Spurs could have committed cheap fouls intended to do more than just stop the clock but punish the Grizzlies for their success. The Spurs did nothing of the sort.
The Spurs never gave up. They never acted immature. They held themselves to higher standard. They showed the same class in defeat as they have shown in their victories in the past. I won't lie and say I feel sad that the Spurs lost but I do feel honored to have seen such an excellent example of how true champions behave.
This may one day be looked back on as the end of an era for the Spurs but I hope the way they handled themselves in both victory and defeat will be a lesson for the teams that come. Thank you San Antonio. You have shown our young team how to handle themselves in good times and bad. I can only hope that the Grizzlies handle themselves with the same class that the Spurs have done for the past decade.
Once again, thank you to Chip for helping us out throughout round one. We wish him and his Grizzlies the best of luck in the remainder of their games throughout the playoffs.