The greatest basketball team ever?

These Spurs are so quiet, but it should be asked whether they are the best NBA team to have walked on the planet Earth.  A few points:

1. Since 1997 they have a winning percentage of over .700, the best in any sport.  This includes two previous championship rings, but the current incarnation of the Spurs is believed to be the best.

2. They have absolutely crushed a variety of strong teams from the West, even when Tim Duncan had sore ankles.

3. Their best player, Tim Duncan, should at this point be MVP every year.

4. They are one of the best defensive teams, ever.  Bruce Bowen is a first-rate stopper.

5. They are one of the best-coached teams, ever.  They have an amazing variety of offensive plays and defensive set-ups.  They can play in many different styles, including run and gun fast break, when needed.  They are far more than the sum of their parts.

6. They do not appear to have problems with personalities or dissension.

7. They have a very strong bench.

8. You would rather have Manu Ginobili than Kobe Bryant.

9. In any sport where performance is measurable, quality rises over time.  Yes there is dilution but overall the best basketball teams are getting better.  And the use of foreign players — prominent on the Spurs — is overcoming the dilution problem rapidly.

Can you imagine Bruce Bowen holding MJ to thirty points and Duncan going around Bill Cartwright at will?  Could they keep the fast break of the Showtime Lakers in check, while exploiting the relatively weak defense of that team?  How would they match up against the 1989-1990 "Bad Boy" Pistons, or the Celtics with Bill Walton?

We should put the low TV ratings aside and start asking these questions.


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