Sometimes we forget that NBA players are fans of the game just as much as we are. They’re watching the same games, on the same channels, and laughing at the same Charles Barkley jokes as us.
They're not just professional basketball players, but they’re functional analysts, functional commentators, and functional head coaches, just like we are.
Jared Dudley recently tweeted: It’s funny reading tweets from fans…just cuz I’m in the NBA and not in the playoffs doesn’t mean I’m not a fan. I was before and will after.
Make no mistake, NBA players are equally amazed at how the Spurs are playing basketball right now. They have multiple players in double figures, are spacing themselves on all corners of the court, and they’re moving the basketball like a hot potato.
Greg Monroe tweeted: This is as close to perfect bball you can get
Ricky Rubio tweeted: Dictionary: Team; San Antonio Spurs…OMG!
Players know what good basketball looks like. So, why don't we see more of this? Why don’t more players and more teams play this way?
It’s one thing for players like Greg Monroe and Ricky Rubio to tweet about the Spurs offense, since they themselves are unselfish, but it’s another thing when black holes who suffer from tunnel vision are doing the same.
J.R. Smith, who has never seen a shot he hasn't liked, tweeted: Even if you don’t like the #Spurs you have to respect them! They play the same way all the time no matter what #POPCOTY
Anthony Morrow, tweeted: Great ball movement
Jamal Crawford tweeted: Spurs do it the right way, every time…
J.J. Redick tweeted: I don’t root for other teams but the basketball lover in me really enjoys watching the Spurs play. Seems like every play is the right play.
Now, even the Spurs have shooting specialists like Matt Bonner, and there is a place for 3-point specialists in the league such as Steve Novak, but the best way of playing basketball is to compose your team with players that know how to move the ball from a good shot to a great shot. Players who can see a play develop two plays ahead.
For example, Boris Diaw was not even playing towards the end of his tenure with the Charlotte Bobcats because he was too unselfish. In other words, he liked passing the ball too much. The Bobcats, who were already filled with shoot first players, wanted one of the best passing big men in the league to be a shooter instead of a facilitator.
The Spurs, on the other hand, have dubbed Diaw as their second point guard on the court. It’s no wonder he has seamlessly fit onto a San Antonio squad that plays more like a European ball club than an AAU ball club.
Tim Legler has recently said that the individualism that is taught within American basketball has a lot to learn from the European way of playing. Their is no "I" in "TEAM," but there is an "I" in "IQ." Somehow, we all know what basketball at its purest looks like, but we’ve forgotten how to put it in practice.