Stern on why Spurs have not clicked with America


David SternTalk to San Antonio Spurs fans about their pet peeves and the one thing that will likely come up most often will be lack of media coverage or media bias towards large market teams.

As evidenced during the broadcast of the NBA Finals, in one game, with the Spurs heading into the half with a decent lead, the broadcast's focus was shifted to how the Miami Heat had a solid start in that particular game. That, along with the lacking sports highlight show coverage really grinds a Spurs fans gears.

So why have the Spurs, a model franchise with consecutive successful seasons running over a decade, not caught on with the media or fans.

Dan Patrick had NBA Commissioner David Stern on his show before Game 7 of the Finals to ask exactly that, saying the Spurs were brilliantly run and without fault in the coaching staff and main core, yet they still didn't click with America.

"I think that the steady and, to me, captivating and brilliance of Tim Duncan has not translated into the sizzle that the media is so attracted to," Stern said.

Patrick, a former SportsCenter host, said part of the blame fell on him and his colleagues, who chose to showcase dunks during highlight shows.

"That's where the glamor goes, but when you watch Tim Duncan bank one off the glass, its beautiful," Stern added.

Don't expect an argument out of me on the beauty of Duncan's bank shots, but start highlighting bank shots over dunks or big blocks and sports fans would be outraged.

While the media plays its part, I don't think blame for appreciating the Spurs or the reason why basketball fans haven't fully embraced the Spurs lies fully on the media. Spurs fans appreciate solid, fundamental basketball executed to perfection. The Duncan bank shot, double screens to get a shooter open for a midrange jumper and Tony Parker's teardrop are what Spurs fans live on.

But outside Planet Spurs, more and more NBA fans are attracted to the game, not because of a well-executed pick-and-roll, but because of the Paul to Griffin lob, the Manimal's uber-athletic displays or LeBron James dunking at will on even the NBA's best defenders.