The San Antonio Spurs just won their 4th NBA championship in 9 years. If someone were reading this, they would stop now, because no one likes or respects the Spurs. I lived in San Antonio for 4 years and couldn't become a fan. But at least I came to respect the team work, chemistry, good coaching, unselfishness, and championship rings. In an era where people complain about athletes with poor fundamentals getting arrested and having outside kids, the Spurs stand out by:
1. Winning, early and often
2. Playing team ball
3. Not getting arrested
4. Starting schools for underprivileged children
5. Marrying hot actresses
So what's not to like? People just like complaining.
But then I realized something. The Spurs are Larry Holmes. Larry Holmes won his first 47 (or so) heavyweight fights and was one fight away from tying Rocky Marciano's record when he lost his first fight. He held the Heavyweight title for 6-8 years. And no one cared because he followed the greatest era in boxing history (Ali, Frazier, Norton, Foreman- with guys like Lyle, Shaver, and Leroy Spinks playing second fiddle) while preceding the Mike Tyson era.
The Spurs missed the Bird/Magic era and the Jordan era. They even had the bad luck of missing Shaq and D. Wade in the Finals last year. LeBron, Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo are coming into their own, while Kevin Durant and Greg Oden loom on the horizon. So they're playing in a lackluster era and they are the best team of that era. But we don't know how Holmes or the Spurs would stack up against the best from more competitive eras because they did not have great competition, so we denigrate their achievements.
Or, they are so much better than their contemporaries that they just make them look bad. Nah, Cleveland was bad. So was Carl "The Truth" Williams.
Note- Oh, and the middleweights and welterweights got to be very entertaining during Holmes' reign. Sugar Ray, Hagler, Hearns, Duran. They had some great fighters with compelling personalities.