The San Antonio Spurs as John Adams: “I will outlive (Thomas) Jefferson”
“I will outlive Jefferson…
…Thomas Jefferson still survives.”
Fierce political adversaries whose rivalry bred mutual respect, and eventually friendship, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are forever linked by the final words of Adams, the second President of the United States.
Defeated by Jeffersonâ€”his opposite in nearly every political aspectâ€”as an incumbent, Adams was said to have proclaimed that despite having several years on his longtime rival, he would outlive Jefferson. Both reached their end within hours of each other, with â€œThomas Jefferson still survivesâ€ being attributed as Adamsâ€™ last words (unbeknownst to Adams, Jefferson had in fact died earlier that day).
For nearly a decade the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks have stood as roadblocks in the path to each othersâ€™ success. Two veteran-laden teams sporting the longest 50-win regular season streaks in the NBA, at this point one has to simply wonder what it has to do to get rid of the other.
In that, the Spurs and Mavericks are like two bitter old rivals struggling to outlive each other simply for the opportunity to dance on the otherâ€™s grave.
Â To complete the analogy, itâ€™s hard to say which teams is Jefferson and which is Adams. Like Adams, the San Antonio Spurs are a little older and probably better positioned to outlast these Mavericks. But Jefferson is probably the more prominent historical figure (he only wrote the Declaration of Independence after all).
What is more certain is that in a perfect world it would only be appropriate for these two teams, this rivalry, to meet a similar end when their time does finally come. Hopefully with Tim Duncan muttering something along the lines of â€œDirk Nowitzki still survives,â€ while completely oblivious to Dirk announcing his own retirement plans on Twitter just moments earlier.
Are these two teams on a collision course? Itâ€™s harder to see the Dallas Mavericks advancing to the Western Conference Finals than it is for the Spurs right now, what with a second round date with the Los Angeles Lakers looming for the Mavs barring a complete collapse from one of the top three teams. But itâ€™s not out of the realm of possibility, because the rivalry between these two franchises deserves a spotlight of that magnitude for a potential swan song.
Behind the gifts of their respective franchise power forwards, the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks have outlived many of their contemporaries.
The Sacramento Kings, Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, and, yes, even the Los Angeles Lakers, have faded in and out of relevancy over the period of time the Spurs and Mavericks have sat atop the upper echelon of the Western Conference.
But their time is short. Thatâ€™s the reality of being built around players on the wrong side of 30, age eventually diminishes everything. Everything except great rivalries. And though ultimately the goal is still an NBA championship, between these two teams there is almost a secondary need to outlive the other. To dance upon the otherâ€™s grave.
Even if it is only for just a couple of hours.