Posted on August 15, 2016, by Travis Pulver
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but with the way Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke of his desire for the Redskins to emulate the San Antonio Spurs—well, it didn’t sound too much like flattery.
What did he say? He wants to win like the Spurs have for the last couple of decades, but he also wants to be super boring like the Spurs too.
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“I’ve told my teammates that I’d like to be the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL,” Cousins said (ESPN). “Be super boring and maybe people at the end of the season just go, ‘Wow, they really had a good year and no one really talked about it.’”
The comment can be taken in a couple of different ways.
The San Antonio Spurs have been the picture of excellence in the NBA for the last two decades. Since 1999, they have won the NBA Finals five times, made the playoffs every year, and rarely—if ever—had a controversy play out in the media. No one ever complains about not getting enough shot opportunities, and they all appear to get along great while they play efficient, effective basketball ball that wins games.
They aren’t flashy by any means. But they play the game well enough to win—which they have done quite a bit over the years.
Who wouldn’t want to be like a team that has won the NBA Finals five times since 1999? That’s why the game is played; to be the best. Washington has been called many things over the years, but not the best. Their last Super Bowl title came in 1991. Since then they have only made the playoffs six times and won their division just three times.
They’ve been the worst team in their division seven of the last ten seasons. When a team has been down on its luck this much and for so long, of course emulating a perennial contender like the Spurs is a good idea.
But boring? Who wants to be boring?
Boring could be taken one of three ways: (1) the team is incredibly dull and no fun to watch (2) no off-field drama, or (3) the team does all the fundamentals well and play so efficiently that they don’t have to rely on big, flashy play to win games.
The San Antonio Spurs are about as drama-free away from the court as a team can get. If there were ever going to be some dirty laundry aired, it would have happened when Tim Duncan got divorced—but there wasn’t any. Tim Duncan turning down an invite from President Obama to go to the Olympics in Rio barely registered a blip on the media radar.
However, if President Obama had made the same offer to Cam Newton and he said no, the media would have gone nuts.
For the first time in years, there hasn’t been any drama surrounding the Redskins in training camp. Dan Snyder seems to have backed off, none of their free agent acquisitions have come in unprepared to play, and the quarterback situation is as crystal clear as it is going to get. No drama, no question marks, and no possibility for a quick hook.
The job belongs to Kirk Cousins.
That is likely all he meant when it comes to being boring, but he could also hope that the team becomes so fundamentally sound that they begin to look a little boring because they are so efficient (and win, of course).
Should the Redskins start to look more like the Spurs, maybe Cousins will not feel the need to ask anyone if they like that. He’ll already know the answer.