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Paul Nicholson
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

rivalry renewed

I called it back in November (see #3).
And now it's here.

Trouble is, the Jazz aren't even putting up a fight.
I really wish they were better. Kinda.

I don't think this series is going to even be a contest, and the Spurs are going to march right through them. Normally, i'd be ecstatic about this. I guess in reality i am. I'm a big Spurs fan and i can't wait to watch another championship. And i really love that we are doing it against the Jazz. But i wish they were putting up more of a fight.

Here's where i'm coming from.

Since i became a Spurs fan in 1989 (the year we moved to San Antonio, but also David Robinson's rookie year), here's the Spurs playoff history:

2006 -- defeated Sacramento, lost to Dallas
2005 -- defeated Denver, defeated Seattle, defeated Phoenix, defeated Detroit
2004 -- defeated Memphis, lost to LA Lakers
2003 -- defeated Phoenix, defeated LA Lakers, defeated Dallas, defeated New Jersey
2002 -- defeated Seattle, lost to LA Lakers
2001 -- defeated Minnesota, defeated Dallas, lost to LA Lakers
2000 -- lost to Phoenix
1999 -- defeated Minnesota, defeated L.A. Lakers, defeated Portland, defeated New York
1998 -- defeated Phoenix, lost to Utah
1997 -- [did not make playoffs - drafted Tim Duncan]
1996 -- defeated Phoenix, lost to Utah
1995 -- defeated Denver, defeated LA Lakers, lost to Houston
1994 -- lost to Utah
1993 -- defeated Portland, lost to Phoenix
1992 -- lost to Phoenix
1991 -- lost to Golden State
1990 -- defeated Denver, lost to Portland


We were major rivals with Utah for a long while. Regular season. Playoffs. Didn't matter. It was one of the strongest rivalries i've ever been in the middle of. We also developed a big rivalry with Lakers, especially with Phil Jackson. And to a lesser degree we had rivalries with Portland and Houston for a while early on there.

But with all of those other teams (and many others of course) we have gone on to beat them in the playoffs. Since i started watching, we have beaten every team that ever beat us (except Golden State who doesn't count, and Houston who we never had a major rivalry with...too friendly). I specifically remember when we beat LA in '99. Monkey off the back.

Portland, Phoenix, LA Lakers, Seattle, Memphis, Denver, Sacramento.

We've handled them all at some point.
Except Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz.
We've never "gone through" the Jazz.

Though no Spurs player was a part of the team that lost to Utah so many times long ago, the fans know. The fans remember. I can bet you the players know it too. This series is important.

This is redemption.

Note: I also have to say, i understand that Utah needs to change uniforms occasionally like all teams, but the fact that these guys are wearing powder/pastel/columbia blue and not the old Utah Jazz purple (or even black), makes it seem like a totally different team. Not quite the same. As my wife Christy pointed out, they look like a college team. Pro teams don't wear powder blue.

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