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A Eulogy for the San Antonio Spurs

The Kawhi-less Spurs met a bitter end, but we’ll remember them fondly

(AP Images/Ringer illustration)
(AP Images/Ringer illustration)

Let me read to the congregation from scripture first, and I ask not that you bow your heads, but that you stand, because standing will put you closer to the basketball heavens, which I hope to talk to you about today.

Thank you. Have a seat. Let us begin.

It is with great sadness, and also great pride, and also great heartbreak, and also more pride, that I, Shea Serrano, of the San Antonio Serranos, of the Southside San Antonio Serranos, present this eulogy for the 2017 San Antonio Spurs, who were spiritually guided by Gregg Popovich and physically guided by Kawhi Leonard and blessed the lord himself these past eight months, and who met their ending Monday night at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. They rest now, and they have earned it, and we shall celebrate them.

What to make of this season, you ask? I respond heartily and with fortitude: Make of it what you will, for what you feel is right, as it always is. Do you feel sadness now that it’s over? That is fine. There is sadness because endings are always sad, even when they are happy, and so I say be sad. Of course, be sad.

Do you feel an uneasiness? That is also fine, for there is an uneasiness here too, certainly, brought on by our playoffs ending in an unnatural way, our hero on the floor holding his ankle, our team little more than an angry mist without him.

Do you feel anger? Do you feel chaos in your heart? Do you feel a coldness in your spine? Or do you feel love in your protons, and admiration in your bones, and warmth in your heart? All of those feelings are good and true feelings, because they are your feelings, and the thing that I know from watching our beloved Spurs year after year after year is that everyone, every single person, no matter how seemingly small, is important and valuable, even my dear LaMarcus Aldridge, to whom I raise my glass today and say, "Sometimes you tried, LaMarcus, and for those times I am thankful. Thank you."

I choose to believe the season was a success, and so I will remember it as such. I will remember Kawhi, his muscles tight and his cornrows loose and his energy pure, tormenting his opponents on offense and slicing them into ribbons on defense for the entirety of the regular season and the playoffs. I will remember Patty Mills, jubilant and ferocious, fire-balling the Memphis Grizzlies during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of their first-round series. I will remember Tony Parker, who was perfect, and I will remember Pau Gasol, who was imperfect and floppy and moved like if his body were a 7-foot-tall water balloon.

I will remember Manu Ginobili, an ageless warrior of impossible grit, summoning the verve of the cosmos to defeat a savant far more powerful than himself these days. And I will remember Dejounte Murray and Kyle Anderson and Davis Bertans and Dewayne Dedmon and David Lee and Danny Green and Jonathon Simmons, and let me say to the congregation another thing, this time less spiritual but certainly with no less love: I cannot wait to watch Jonathon Simmons get paid this summer, for his strength is unquestionable, and his story is marvelous, and even if he is no longer on the Spurs this coming October I will root for him forever regardless.

There are so many great things to celebrate, truly. I want you to know that. I want you to know that, as you avoid the sports sites you read and the sports shows you watch when the Spurs win. It’s important that you know that.

Make no mistake, my friends, there is room for sadness here. Of course there is room for that. No early ending comes without it, and it would be dishonest if I told you that a part of me was not doleful, or frustrated, or disappointed watching the Warriors bully our heroes off the edge of a cliff, all the while giggling and shimmying. But that is simply nature. There are, at times, larger and meaner lions roaming around, and when they find you, they eat you. And I hope you do not think that crass, because that is not the point. The point, again, is that it is simply nature. Be sad that our campaign, the campaign of our lionhearted favorites, is over, sure, but be sad with the same level of intensity that you’re sad that a night’s rest is over with, which is to say a tiny amount, and with the knowledge that a full day of opportunity is ahead of you, there for you, waiting for you.

Prosperity is ahead for us all. Be blessed. Go, Spurs, go.