Friday, July 18, 2014

Should the Brons Trade Wiggins for Love?

This has been a fantastic NBA summer with more intrigue than an Alfred Hitchcock scene centered around James Stewart spying on Kim Novak while she contemplates a painting. The mystery and awe enraptures everyday in the off-season and is no less dramatic than the games themselves. Although the Finals ended a little over a month ago, it feels like a whole year has passed. In fact, five weeks ago the question, "Should the Cavs trade Wiggins for Love?" would not have made sense. Yet, today, it is being asked as naturally as you would ask someone to pass the butter.

The short answer to this question is, no. The Cleveland Cavaliers should not trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love. There is no denying that Love is a great talent. He can rebound and throw outlet passes with the best of them. He also has a great motor and can hit threes like few big men can. He provides the same sort of spacing opportunities for Lebron as Chris Bosh, and it's obvious how well that worked for Miami. Throw in Kyrie and Bron has essentially swapped out Wade and Bosh for Love and Irving, and how can that go wrong?

In theory this seems to be a positive, but in practice it appears more troublesome. Love is not as good of a defender as Chris Bosh, and is certainly not as skilled in the post. Lost in all the gushing over Kevin is the fact that he shoots only 47%, as a power forward. Furthermore, he has never been to the playoffs in six seasons. That has to count for something.

Wiggins, on the other hand, is a blank slate with the ability to learn under one of the greatest players ever. Athletic wing players that fly down the court and play tough perimeter defense are rare. Cleveland would have two of them. Many teams have none. The learning experience this would provide for Wiggins is phenomenal. Imagine if the Bulls had Jordan in his prime and then Kobe to learn under him as a rookie. This, combined with Kyrie Irving and a bunch of three point shooters (James Jones, Mike Miller), makes for a devastating attack that would have casual NBA fans salivating.

Furthermore, there is no reason to rush a trade. The season hasn't even begun yet. The Wolves will hold less cards as time goes on. They don't want to run the risk of him walking away for nothing at the end of the season. Why would you overreact by giving up Wiggins in July before his first NBA game?

I doubt Bron and Wiggins have even stepped on a court together at this point. They should give some time to see what the team looks like before they go out and make trades that could come back to haunt them. If Wiggins looks lost and befuddled, then trade him at mid-season for Love. Don't give up on a Jordan/Pippen scenario before it even begins.

Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


Welcome to Chicago Pau and Nikola!  Looking forward to some great things this upcoming season!

Their press conference is scheduled for tomorrow...

H/T Chicago Bulls Twitter page

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Is Ricky Rubio a Max Player?

According to Dan Feldman of NBCSports...No.

You’ve gotta hear this one. So, Ricky Rubio’s agent wants –
OK, let me try again. So, Ricky Rubio’s agent wants a contract extension worth –
I just can’t do it without laughing.


Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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NBA Summertime

There has been a lot of NBA news this summer as the free agency frenzy has winded down a bit. Here are s just a few of the big stories:

1. Nikola Mirotic agrees to deal with Bulls.

He is being lauded as the best overseas prospect since Dirk.  He is a big man that can shoot the three, put it on the floor, plays solid defense, and has the toughness to go with it. If he is as skilled as advertised, this will be a substantial addition to a team that sorely needed more offensive firepower.

2. Pau Gasol signs with the Bulls

Gasol seemed somewhat lost and out of sorts last season in Mike D'antoni's schemes. The two butted heads early, and Kobe even chimed in imploring Gasol to "pull up his big boy pants" a couple of seasons ago. Well, Pau headed the advice and pulled this pants right out of L.A. for Chicago. In a less than ideal situation with the Lakers last year, he still put up 17 points and 9 rebounds. He is a gifted pick-and-pop player, an underrated passer, great spot-up shooter, and has tough positional defense. Needless to say his basketball IQ is fairly high, and combined with Joakim Noah, Chicago has two of the most cerebral big men in the league.

3. Doug McDermott is drafted by the Bulls

If you haven't followed college basketball the last few seasons, then you've missed out on one of the greatest NCAA scorers this decade. He was a scoring machine who could hit threes five feet behind the line. I wondered if his skills would be able to translate to the NBA, this summer league excerpt answers those doubts.

He looks more like Wally Szczerbiak and less like Adam Morrison with each passing day. Again, all of these offensive additions are great moves by Chicago.

4. Derrick Rose wants to play in the World Cup this fall

As Rose prepares his comeback, you have to love his desire to play in the World Cup as a proving ground that he is 100% physically and mentally ready for the rigors of the NBA season. He is said to be in great shape, and this fall we will get a sneak peek. If he kills it this fall, then it will be a great start to a memorable season.

5. Kirk Hinrich will return to Bulls.

He is what he is. He can handle the ball and play tight defense. As long as he can do this for 25 minutes a night, the Bulls have a good backup PG.

6. Chandler Parsons signs with Dallas Mavericks

This is interesting because Chandler was one of Dwight's closest friends on the Rockets and was very influential in getting him to sign in the first place. The Rockets supposedly want to be flexible enough to sign another superstar player, and locking up Parsons would have hindered that. It still seems odd.

7. Some guy went back home

Lastly, some player took his talents back to his hometown team.

As always, thanks for reading.
Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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Monday, July 14, 2014



This kid's ceiling is scary!


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Everyone will be talking about this commercial today, especially because of whose in it!  Well done Jordan, Nike...

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Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 NBA Draft Diary

If the Finals serve as the end of the NBA year, then in many ways the Draft serves as its beginning. In terms of timing, the League couldn't be better. The NFL draft is months after the season is over, the NBA’s is a week. We just saw the League Superstars battle it out for a championship at the highest level of basketball in the world, and a matter of days later we get a fresh introduction to the new crop of talent. The NBA wheel keeps turning. It truly is a fantastic event for viewers. Okay enough gobbledy gook. Here is my 2014 NBA draft diary…

8pm - Damn. I am smart enough to admit that I am stupid. Even though ESPN clearly stated that the Draft would start at 7:30, I thought that the actual first pick would not be until 8pm. I walk into my apartment and see that broke foot Joel Embiid was taken with the 3rd pick in the NBA draft. I guess with broke back Nerlens Noel the 76ers are trying to corner the market on injured bigs? Many thought Embiid would drop out of the top three with his injury, they forgot to factor in that the 76ers like to double down on hurt. If they trade for Oden, they will hit the proverbial infirmary blackjack.

(Sidenote: I’m also playing in a 5k freeroll poker tournament online at, so I will, for the first time in the history of the internet, give a running commentary of my poker results along with the NBA draft. The freeroll’s top slot pays out a little over 500 bucks. The money cutoff is 150, with $11. There are about 700 players to start the tournament.  Degenerates everywhere rejoice.)

The 4th pick is Aaron Gordon to the Orlando Magic, in somewhat of a surprise. I have heard him referred to as a poor-man’s Blake Griffin, which is accurate from what I have seen. He will be a good fit down there with Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo and that Vucevic. Orlando is building a pretty versatile, athletic team. Sort of like an east coast version of the Los Angeles Clippers. I like this pick.

8:05 - The 5k freeroll has begun.

8:07 - Andy Katz says Trey Burke wanted Utah to take Dante Exum and they do. Exum shot up the draft board by playing well at the u19 World Championships last season. Fran Frachilla says he will only be 19 in July…this means he is YOUNG.

Exum Being interviewed by Jay “Motorcycle” Williams really shows how old Jay is. He looks like the wicked witch of the west, next to the young kid. I can't understand much of what this crocodile hunter says but he looks good in highlights. His American father has a thick Aussie accent.  Bill Simmons says he looks like an 18 year old Kobe, but could end up like Larry Hughes. That’s like saying your next girlfriend can look like Halle Berry or Shelden Williams. I guess sometimes you have to roll the dice.  Oh and, the kid hasn’t played competitive ball in 10 months. I haven’t played in 8 years, I should submit my name for 2015.

8:13- I have yet to play a hand in poker.

Boston selects Marcus Smart. "He would have been the number one pick last year." Assuming Nerlens Noel was still injured in this revision, Bill is correct. Jalen Rose says this means Rondo's days are numbered. Damn. “Linebacker in a basketball uniform”, says Bilas. I don’t know about linebacker but he had a hell of a stiff arm against that Texas Tech fan. Bada boom, ching. I'll be here all night.

I personally think the kid is a tweener much in the way Dwayne Wade was. He reminds me a lot of a poor-man’s Wade which means he is great for the first nine seasons, but should really become friends with Wiggins so they can partner up with Embiid and win some chips in ten years.

Jay Williams just asked Smart "What have you learned throughout your life?" I would have answered, “nothing much, just not to ride motorcycles.”

Also, a graphic informs us that Marcus is the best stats guy in the history of stat guys.

8:18 - Julius Randle is taken by the Lakers. Kobe likes to be a bully to his young guys, Randle is certainly up for the task. I have never heard the phrase Grown Man associated with a prospect more than it is with Randle. My only concern about him is his size against the NBA bigs. He was able to overpower kids on the college level, but in the league I am not sure he will be able to get his shot off consistently.

Rose compares him to ZBo but he is much smaller…they also inexplicably say Derrick Coleman. I'd just like to add he is NOTHING like Derrick Coleman. Rose says he will be in the discussion for ROY.

8:23 - Kings select Nik Stauskas from University of Michigan. I am a Michigan fan but I didn't think he was a lottery pick, yet he has always been spoken about as one. These types of guys seem to have trouble transitioning into the NBA in my opinion, I think of Luke Jackson from Oregon or Ryan Minor or Jimmer Fredette. The guy the Kings took three years ago.  (Or any other white shooting guard type who thinks he can create his own shot in the NBA.)

The Noah guy from Indiana is dropping fast.

I get KK in the freeroll in middle position and raise 4x big blind. I get four callers and 779 on wet board. First guy checks, second guy min raises, I shove all-in and end up taking the pot.

8:28 - Noah Vonleh goes to the Hornets. Holy crap they are the Charlotte Hornets again, sounds much better than Bobcats. I don't know much about this guy other than he isn't 19 yet and he has hands as big as Kawhi Leonard. Vonleh combined with Jefferson is a good front line. Vonleh just compared himself to Kevin Durant. Hey, why not shoot for the moon?

76ers on the clock with pick number ten. They take Elfrid Payton a PG from UL Lafayette. I have no idea who this is but he apparently is a great defensive player. They have Michael Carter-Williams, who was rookie of the year and also plays PG. Hmmmmm. Who knows what this mean but its interesting. Possible trade?  Bilas, casually says he led the whole NCAA in turnovers. Not a good sign for a lottery pick.

MCW, who is at the draft, is asked if he will be moved. How can you be asked that question at the draft? He said he never saw the guy play. He said he doesn’t know if he will be moved. I think MCW is a great player, there has to be some behind-the-scenes shenanigans for them to consider trading the ROY after one season.

8:42- Adam Morrison is drafted by the Denver Nuggets Did I say Adam Morrison? I meant Doug Mcdermott. He can shoot a bit of distance away from the three point line. Rooster and Mcdermott seem like one tall white guy who can shoot threes and can’t get his shot off, too many, but what do I know?  How good can you be when you aren't coached by your dad who force feds the offense through you? That is what I want to know.

8:48 - These Dante Exum foot locker commercials are kinda cool. Guardians of the galaxy looks ridiculous.

8:50 - Mcdermott is traded to Chicago for two draft picks later. This is to free money for Melo according to Simmons. Mcdermott on Nuggets was not a good idea to me, but on the Bulls, I like this pick.

12th Orlando Magic select Dario Saric from Croatia. I have no idea who he is other than a big forward. They have Vucevic and now this guy. They say he won’t come over for two years, but this is a nice stash. Bill has fallen in love with this guy at 3am on youtube. I’ve done that with lots of people on youtube as well.  Moving along…

I shove all in on cutoff with A7 steal the blinds, very next hand I limp early with 22 but fold to a big raise. The blinds are 125/250 with ante, I have about 3k chips. A five minute break is coming soon. I’m going to need help to survive in this thing.

8:56 - Wolves select Zach Levine. He is a PG from UCLA who didn’t start. The only guy I knew from UCLA was Kyle Anderson. Also the wolves have Rubio, but hey, you can never have enough point guards.

Chris Broussard has breaking news, if the Cavs get Bron, Love will sign with them, 100% absolutely. You could say that about any player in the NBA with the same level of certainty except perhaps, Lance Stephenson. And even he would be 95% likely to do it.

9:03 - Elfrid Payton was traded to the Magic. The 76ers will keep the Saric guy stashed. MCW is safe and should finally feel he is not going to be traded.

9:04 - T.J Warren was drafted by the Suns. I don’t know anything about this guy. Simmons said he slipped too far.

9:05 - I shove all in on button with 88 and hit caller with A10 I get full house with 888KK. The very next hand I get 1010 and go all in again on cut off, I get called by very same guy. I hit full house again with 101010QQ and knock the guy out. I’m in 104th place with 328 to go.

9:11 - With the 15th pick the Hawks select Adrian Payne. I know this guy. He played well in the tournament and was a mentor to a kid who had cancer or something and that kid died. He also has on purple pants, a checkerboard jacket, and a bow time. Shout out to Dhani Jones. I feel like this guy has been at MSU since Mateen Cleaves. He has an old man face. This is just the type of guy that the Hawks would select. A tough big that is undersized, not that athletic, and can’t really score. Sort of a poor-man’s Greg Monroe.

ESPN goes into the relationship he had with the cancer kid (rip). Heart strings are being pulled. This guy really loves this kid. I gotta tip my hat. I guess she made this bow tie as well, that makes it somewhat better, but not by much.

Isiah Austin the center from Baylor with a genetic disorder who can no longer pursue a professional career, has been announced as a special guest. Adam Silver is a class act. He was drafted as a pick by the NBA just so he could have his chance to get up here and shake hands with the commissioner…two heartbreaking stories back-to-back.  Solid move by the NBA.

Jusuf Nurkic from Bosnia was taken by the Bulls for Denver in aforementioned trade. We have now entered the coolest name of the draft phase. From the highlights (lowlights?) he reminds me of Eric Montross.

It just hit me that the guy James Young from Kentucky is still on the board. I thought he was a projected lottery pick. Simmons said he was one of the best players left about 40 minutes ago

9:26 - The Celtics select James Young. Well that didn't take long. Simmons likes the pick. This guy plus Smart gives the Celtics a great, great backcourt. Yes, two greats.  Bye Bye employee no. 9.

9:33 - Tyler Ennis selected by Suns at the same time I shove all in from early position with AK off suit. All hands fold, just as Ennis puts on his orange cap. Simmons compared him to a rich man's DJ Augustin. I'm not sure what that means, but i imagine that is a compliment. I am surprised Shabazz Napier is not the first big east point guard taken in this draft.

9:36 - The Bulls select Gary Harris for the Denver Nuggets. Simmons says Nuggets would not have taken Affalo if they knew they could get this guy. STEAL OF THE DRAFT. This guy is young, so young he is not even 20 yet.

9:39 - I reached the bubble of the tournament, we are in hand-to-hand play.

9:41 - Whoo Hoo I made the money. The Lakers GM is yapping about why they selected Randle. “He was the best player on the board.” Well that answers that. Can you imagine a team saying their pick wasn't the best player on the board?

I find it interesting that no one is talking about Kyle Anderson. I thought he was a lottery caliber pick.

9:45 - The Toronto Raptors select Bruno Caboclo from Brazil. Is this thing almost to the Knicks yet? I know nothing about this guy and it doesn't seem like any of the announcers do either. He is the Brazilian Kevin Durant, except he can’t shoot and just started playing basketball a couple years ago and barely gets playing time for his current team in his crap league. Fran just said he is two years away from being two years away. So he is four years away from being a bust? If this is Brazils Kevin Durant, then we need to adjust the exchange rate.

9:49 - I’m in trouble in the poker tourney. I only have about 7k in chips and I have two guys to my left who hold 40k or more in chips. I can't really try to steal any pots. This will be tough, I need to hit some hands. The blinds are high. I shove with AK in middle position and everyone folds

9:52 - OKC selects mitch mcgary aka Big Lebowski. He was injured all season for the most part, and likes to smoke pot,  but he was a great player in the 2013 Final Four run. I like his skills and think he will fit in well with the Thunder.

9:59 - Another player from UCLA taken before Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adam to grizzlies

10:04 - Utah Jazz select Rodney Hood from the Duke Devils. I hate Duke and all things associated with them, so no comment on this, other than to state I am happy to see a Duke guy fall all the way to 23.

Oh well. I am out of the tournament in 86th place. I called an all-in from a big stack on the button with 99. I figured he must have a pair lower than me or two wild cards although him shoving all-in with two wild cards doesn’t make much sense. He ended up holding 88 and hit an 8 on the turn. I win $15.50.

10:08 - Shabazz Napier to Charlotte Hornets
He is going to be hooked up with Kemba Walker again, apparently Bron wanted to play with this guy. Oh well, sorry Bron. Wait it seems as if his agent Rob Pelinka says he is off to Miami. I remember when Rob was a guard on the Michigan wolverines, will rose reference that?

I need to eat dinner. Smoked salmon, eggs and vegetable dumplings. Is this thing over yet? I’m tired.

10:15 - The Rockets select Clint Capela who is one of the best 50 players from Switzerland, according to Simmons. Ha. He is not ready for the NBA any time soon. When he finally comes over he can start his own line of pasta.

10:20 - Hornets/Bulls trade finally announced.

10:26 - The Heat select PJ Hairston to give to Hornets. I don’t know much about him except that he was kicked of UNC.

10:28 - The Suns select Bogon Bogonovich, talk about alliteration. He is more ready than a lot of people think, according to Fran. Well I don’t think anything, cause that name is ridiculous. So I guess Fran is right. I’m hungry and need to eat something before I pass out.

10:33 - ESPN shows love for Adam Sliver here. I guess anyone would appear less ominous than Stern.

Next pick, the KKKlipers select CJ Wilcox…unless he related to Chris Wilcox I have no idea who he is. You guys sense a trend here.

Kyle Anderson is one of the few college guys I knew this season and he is still on the board. I would love for him to fall to the Knicks but I have a feeling he will be taken by the San Antonio Spurs. I am really high on Kyle Anderson and I can’t imagine a team with him and Kawhi Leonard in a Pop system. This will be another steal. The spurs keep on winning.

10:40 - The Thunder select Josh Huestis from Stanford. Never heard of him. They passed on Cleanthony Early and Kyle Anderson, twice, two guys who can create and score on their own. This would have doubled the number of OKC players who could do that. I am shocked.

10:48 - The Spurs select Kyle Anderson just like i predicted.
San Antonio Spurs, you have to love it. This kid is the man, I’m sure you will hear about him a lot next season, particularly in the playoffs when people will be wondering how he could have fallen so far. The Spurs keep on ticking.

Time to eat.

As always, thanks for reading.
Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zen and the Art of Writing about the Spurs (part 2)

Click here to read part one

I am not a psychologist but it seems clear to me that there are psychic ties among manhood, physicality, competition, and strategy that electrify grown adults. In the absence of physical battles in our everyday lives, sports tap into those unconscious connections. In fact, a strong argument could be made that the most vital piece in the foundation of the multi-billion dollar sports industry is its ability to transfer that emotional need into a tangible product or experience. If dollars are an indication of influence, and they should be, the amount of revenue sports generate is more than all (non-sports) entertainment industries combined.

While music and movies also entertain and provide an emotional release, they are different in that they are crafted and created in private. They are fiction. Only when they are to the liking of the artist are they released to the public for mass consumption. Sport, on the other hand, is “real.” Sport is competition as drama that is spontaneous and live. With sport, writers are not playing with emotions by manipulating lyrics or characters to touch our inner sensibilities.  There is no contrived manipulation. The viewer experiences the ebbs and flows of a game, match, or fight right along with the participants themselves.   In terms of extemporaneous exhilaration, music and movies, simply can’t contend. The attachment one holds for an athlete is stronger than an attachment to a similarly situated musician or actor.

Of course musical icons like the Beatles or Elvis had crowds of screaming adoring fans and could shut down a city block simply by being in a hotel, they were the extreme examples, not the norm.  A guy like Jack White of the White Stripes, for instance, could walk down the street and people would not mob him. Nor would they particularly be in awe of him, outside of his general fame, unless they were guitar players and impressed with his technique or ability (or perhaps if they had a strong appreciation of striking cherry-red colored clothing.)

Compare this with the level of attention given to a high school football player in a state like Texas. Grown men turn into gasping fanboys offering gifts and money at the feet of teenagers.  This is more than just the fact the player represents the city, school, or efforts of the local community. This is an ideation of athlete as warrior or soldier.  This is sport as battle and my-side-is-better-than-yours. The athlete represents us, and more specifically me. I can no longer run and spin my way down the football field, but my city’s running back can, and I can experience this battle through him. This is what our athletes represent to us. This is why when Derrick Rose goes down, Bulls fans hearts sink. You don’t get this with actors or musicians. Sports stars are in a league of their own.

So it is clear to see how the American Sportswriting industry is, in large part, fashioned on the concept of hero worship. Our athletes do more than simply play a game, they are larger-than-life superheroes that can stop speeding bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound.  With an individual sport it was always easy to build singular hero-like narratives. The major team sports, however, took some time. In the case of basketball it was not until David Stern (using Magic, Bird, and Jordan) came along that we truly saw the NBA market individual players above and beyond even the league itself. The modern era for NBA sportswriting begins in the eighties.

In part three I will discuss how this modern-era defines how NBA athletes are written about and why Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs are such an anomaly.

As always, thanks for reading.
Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Zen and the Art of Writing about the Spurs

Less than 24 hours ago the San Antonio Spurs won the 2013-2014 National Basketball Association's Larry O' Brian Trophy for the fifth time in 15 years, placing them in the exalted air of the top-tier NBA franchises. In fact, this tier is so tops it can be counted on three fingers. The Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Chicago Bulls. That's it. Those are the only franchises who have more championships than the Spurs. The NBA has been around since 1946, and only three teams have more titles than Tim Duncan. In fact, this season Duncan became the all time leader in minutes played during the playoffs. Even more fascinating is that Duncan has more playoff wins than 20 of the other teams in the league. In the small slice of the world that discusses and cares about things in, of, and about basketball, Duncan (and San Antonio) would at least loom as large as say, Batman does in the comic book universe? Right?

Stop. There is no need to answer, because that is a trick question. Anyone who comes to to read about hoops is well aware that the Spurs are underrepresented in the interesting-pieces-written-about-them department. I have not read any articles about the historic ass-kicking the Spurs just handed out, and I don't have to. I already know what is going to be said.  With all due respects to Nasir Jones, It Was (already) Written. The copy covering the San Antonio Spurs is as rote as a Microsoft Office Instruction Manual. In the day and age of websites, bloggers, magazines, twitter, and any of the other various methods we have of transmitting topical thoughts to each other, there are only three, count em, THREE, ways to write about the Spurs:

    1. This method situates the Spurs as a supreme outlier to not only the rest of the NBA, but the whole structure of basketball in America. 
    2. Contains the elusive, hard-to-define PTGTRW as a talking point. When the Mavs won, for instance, I don't recall ever hearing that term. Did they play incorrectly?
    3. Inherent hidden coded, racial biases/stereotypes which I won't bother to point out here, other than to point out that racial biases/stereotypes are here and hidden
    1. This method is sometimes used to refute the method (1) above, but it also stands on it's own. (i.e people said Larry Bird's Celtics PTGTRW, but not many people referred to them as boring)
    1. Self-explanatory.
As a part-time sports blogger (although one who hopes to one day change this to full-time writer) this makes writing about the Spurs somewhat of a challenge. There is simply not a lot of source material out there for me to work with. The narrative on the Spurs is etched in stone, and rehashing that is not interesting in the slightest. Therefore, to make this stimulating I decided to write about why sportswriters write about San Antonio in the manner in which they do.

Click here to read part 2

As always, thanks for reading.
Twitter - @RYANNARsayshi

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