EXCERPT FROM ‘THE ASTERISK’
…I’ll cut to the chase: The major difference between the San Antonio Spurs and the New England Patriots is one organization has been fined for cheating other teams in the National Football League and the Spurs organization has never been associated with a cheating scandal of significance. The closest the Spurs have come to a cheating scandal is in 2012 when the coach decided to rest his players before the NBA Playoffs and was slapped with a $250,000 fine by Commissioner David Stern.
The Patriots, on the other hand, have been involved in two major cheating scandals and there are speculation and significant evidence that indicates they intentionally disrupted their opponents’ communications in Foxboro, MA.
Recently, as discussed above, Tom Brady attempted to contribute to the conversation regarding a comparison others have made about the Spurs’ and the Patriots’ winning cultures.
For many fans outside of New England, the comparison is a hard sell, because when you think of the Spurs and culture it automatically conjures an image of success and players who were every committed to winning on their own merits. The Spurs organization has also benefited from the strength of diversity by seeking out great international talent. In Coach Gregg Popovich, you get the sense that winning is very important, but it’s not everything.
The former Air Force veteran has not been shy about speaking out about social issues and social ills that continue to affect the lives of his players and many, many others who have taken up sports. Coach Popovich has spoken out against these social ills without, it seems, any consideration for his personal reputation. Popovich is considered a class act by many players that have not played under him. These players still revere him for being frank and honestly expressing himself, even on issues players may fundamentally disagree with him about — the NFL protests for instance.
The San Antonio Spurs has a great coach’s mark all over it. Truly great coaches do it honestly and do it in such a way as to conjure admiration and respect from even their opponents….