When fans try to pinpoint the reasons behind a team’s success or failure, they most often look to players or coaches. The New England Patriots have been dominant for nearly two decades because of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have soared to the top of the league because of Sean McVay’s play-calling brilliance and Patrick Mahomes’ phenomenal play. Conversely, a team like the Raiders has struggled for so long because they’ve lacked star power both on the field and on the sideline (yes, even Jon Gruden).
It’s finally college basketball season, something that might not excite many here in the Bay Area but which certainly sends people in my home state of North Carolina into a frenzy. Raleigh, where I’m from, is ACC country: Duke, UNC, and NC State are all within forty minutes of each other, with Wake Forest less than two hours away. Growing up, my family never quite understood the bitter rivalry between the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels (Wolfpack athletics were mostly irrelevant).
Now that the Spurs’ season is finally over—uncharacteristically early, of course, after their recent first round exit at the hands of the Warriors—conversations around the team will now center around their offseason plans and what they should do with Kawhi Leonard.