Out of nowhere, out of quite literally 15 years of acting the nice guys and go-to role models, the San Antonio Spurs are suddenly a bunch of bad dudes. The team was fined a quarter of a million bucks for benching four starters and rakishly reporting to the media that the benchings were set in motion in order to rest starters in anticipation of a season that could last until June. Soon after, a Halloween photo surfaced featuring All-NBA good guys Tim Duncan and Tony Parker pointing toy guns at a party-goer dressed as NBA ref and longtime Duncan adversary Joey Crawford, earning boos for its lack of tact but understanding for the knowledge that we all do stupid things at Halloween parties.
And then there was Stephen Jackson's Friday night on Twitter, dishing insults to Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka that were inscrutable to seemingly everyone but his team and the NBA, who promptly fined the forward.
Through it all, the Spurs pay the nonsense absolutely no mind. And, following Monday's road victory over the Houston Rockets, the team stands at 18-4. That's the best record in the NBA, with a winning percentage that would bleed out to 68 wins if sustained throughout an entire season. Sixty-eight wins, in a season that ends in the year 2013. A full decade after the "too old" Spurs shocked some by downing the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round and taking their second NBA title.