All hail the "Duncan Dynasty": If there were still any questions that the Spurs were a dynasty, they are gone now with the team's fourth title in 9 years. To be more specific, it's the "Duncan Dynasty."
So: Where does this Spurs dynasty rank among all NBA dynasties since 1980? After a very heated debate here yesterday (which you can follow in the comments of the post below), I think they are No. 3:
1. '90s Bulls
2. '80s Lakers
3. '00s Spurs
4. '80s Celtics
5. early-'00s Lakers
6. mid-'90s Rockets
7. late-'80s Pistons
They aren't Showtime pretty. They aren't Jordanesque likeable. They aren't Celtics mythic. They aren't Shaq-Kobe dramatic. They aren't Hakeemishly admirable. They aren't Bad-Boy hate-able.
They are simply champs... yet again.
(UPDATE: By the way, I just posted an update to the stand-alone post about the Spurs below, with a response from the great Kelly Dwyer to the argument. He schools me, so if you like the idea of that, I highly recommend scrolling down or clicking here to check it out.)
MVP: Tony Parker. Another ring. A first Finals MVP award. A breakthrough series. A pending wedding to Eva Longoria. Doesn't seem fair, does it?
Hot Blogger Bracket, Round 3: And I'm already down in the early voting to 17-seed Mini-Me from WBRS Sports Blog! Is this the end of the road for me? Don't let it happen: Vote now (and vote often)!
U.S. Open: Only two players defied par, which makes me think that it's only going to get uglier. But that's fine: Golf scores are totally overrated in any context beyond how they rank relative to each other.
MLB Stud: Garrett Atkins, grand slam in Colorado's W over the Red Sox.
MLB Dud: Josh Beckett, who got hung with his first loss of the year... to Atkins' Rockies.
NHL: Congrats to Sidney Crosby, at 19 the league's youngest MVP since Gretzky. If they are going to keep avid fans engaged for the long haul (and maybe even pique the interest of casual/dis-engaged fans), the best place to start is to have the best player in the league be a 19-year-old. It sure worked in the early-80s.
Poker: Is it me, or does the World Series of Poker not have as much oomph as in previous years? Probably signals that the poker boom has peaked, at least as a sports event. I'm sure the volume of players is still up (and growing), but it's time for the WSOP on TV to move to live, rather than post-produced on tape. We lose Norman Chad's scripted commentary? Oh, geez, well, them's the breaks.
NBA '06-07, Closure: Bethlehem Shoals from Free Darko and I have been involved in a fascinating, in-depth Gtalk session spanning several days this week. If that discussion provided even a smidgen of inspiration for the brilliant, must-read "Longform Shoals" post he put together for NBA Fanhouse yesterday, I feel like I have done my part.
Here's the part he nails: The NBA has to embrace that it has become a "niche" sport, then do everything it can to maximize the relationship it has with its remaining, die-hard fans. Oversimplified, that means meeting those fans wherever (and however) they want to consume the NBA. (Oh, and that the market power of China cannot be understated.)
Given that it's the final weekday before Father's Day – and given my little side project (that I hope all parents are reading and passing along to their friends) – I have a longer post dedicated to Father's Day going up later this morning.
Check out Kissing Suzy Kolber's commenter draft of "Dad You Want To Have." Scroll down to the comment at 11:19 a.m. I don't care if he's mocking me -- that's the greatest Father's Day gift ever.
For Quickie-post purposes, suffice to say that I wish the happiest Father's Day to all the dads, granddads, great-granddads, recent dads and all other dad-types out there. Tiger: We're waiting on you.