Saturday, 6 August 2011
Never doubt the Texas Ranger.
BY TIM DAVID HARVEY
Welcome to the Wild-West. Now there's plenty of gun-slingers in town, but only one can be at the top. Even in the Southwest, there are plenty of Texan Rangers shooting and duking it out with each other. Now the Houston Rockets may be taking off and there may be champion Mavericks down in Dallas, but the real, oldest, most battle-tested Texan titans are the San Antonio Spurs. Sure this old dog hasn't learnt any new tricks but so what, if it aint broke, don't fix it. This veteran team have re-tooled a little but are still so together as these Spurs are really clicking in the associations saloon of contenders.
It all starts with the sheriff. The frontier of this franchise. The old hand who still knows how to draw...a double team that is. Sure there are young shooters that may challenge, but this dead-eye talent and associations two time most valuable still rules the roost like Cogburn the West. With one foot on either side of the paint, this man can take it to the rack or bank it in from deep. That's a real rifleman right there. He keeps his distance but isn't afraid to get up close and personal to get his man...and he always gets his man too. Shaq, Kobe, the best of the West and the best of the best have been pursued and caught by T.D. An admiral before him taught him and now Tim Duncan is more then just a 'Cowboys & Aliens' esque robot, he's a machine taking the league to school with educated, grown up basketball. Just try and stop him.
Still, every sheriff needs his deputies and with Tony Parker and Manu Ginoboli, Duncan has his. Together they form a tried and tested big three fro America that came years before those in New England or Florida. Two former young steeds-who came in from out of town-who now wear their Spurs with a hometown pride. First came Parker. A man with a foreign translation but a game that spoke victories language and still echo's that to this day beyond Texan borders. Quick to draw, he is this band of brothers silver bullet, reducing the opponents to teardrops. Then there's the South American, cowboy wild, tenacious talent. With skill and flair this talent tears through defenders like his fellow, Argentinean sportsmen who kick for a living. Sure he's no longer young and wet behind the years, but as he seasons over the campaigns his talent shows no sign of drying up. Even after hard fought battles in the Phoenix desert year after year, or international duty. If anyone is a testament to this teams old but far from done ideal it's Emanuel.
Still this posse isn't just cut there. Sometimes to be at your best you've got to look outside and when the Spurs enlisted the help from a silent assassin from out of town, that's when their boots really shined. Gunman, Richard Jefferson gives this old hand some young palms. This underrated talent is one of San Antonio's most deadly weapons. Not only does he come with the experience of taking charge in two other States he is also incredibly underrated. Sure he goes about his job without a sound, but haven't people learnt with Duncan that sometimes silence speaks the loudest. R.J. never leaves a job undone, write this man off or disregard him and he'll just go about his business without a word...and finish you.
How about the old hand with a firm grip on his offensive weapon? This may be Antonio McDyess last call of duty, but the retiring, former injury prone outlaw can still dust off the Stetson and kill the enemy with just one tip. Just ask those folks down in Los Angeles. Or how about long-range ranger, Matt Bonner? A red hot rifle-man capable of gunning down opponents from the most unbelievable distance. That's real 'True Grit' right there, just ask Matt Damon, or his beloved Boston Celtics, or any town in this civilisation for that matter. There's also Brazilian, Tiago Splitter, a real-big addition at 6, 11. Yet another South American addition for a Southwest team never afraid to seek help from friends afar. This former Spanish league MVP is well-travelled and was on the most wanted list, but San Antonio got their man. Sure with time not on San An's side they have big Spurs to fill once those veterans become lone rangers. Still young backcourt, guns for hire George Hill, Chris Quinn and Gary Neal have learned from the best, showing promise and a right to wear the teams shield with pride and promise.
As fierce as a coyote, this band of men have their mascot, fans and the whole town behind them. Led by legendary, lasting, lawmen Greg Popovich and R.C. Buford, these black, silver and whites colour the West, proving that old age is on their side as of right now. These guys ran all their enemies out of town, with no return in sight and the best record in the league last season but where then shot-down by put of towners Memphis like they had a price on their head. Still this team is still worth a million dollars and the hunt is still alive in them. Follow the stream of success down the River Walk and you may soon see a parade in this town again. Even with the lockout there would be no asterisk for this team if they won again, just a certified reward. From John Wayne to Jeff Bridges 'True Grit' isn't just a movie that portrays the classic, timeless Western tale of American literature, it is also the embodiment of one of basketballs storied, principle and traditionally minded teams, the San Antonio Spurs. Their legend has already been engraved. It's time for the tales next chapter and you know just like the Cohen's these brothers will write it the right way, by the book. Sure all their promise ended grizzly last year but will these dukes be beaten so badly again? The hell they will!