What do you know, San Antonio Spurs fans, ESPN sometimes gets things right after all. Given their rich history of favoring big-market teams and stars, it's easy to see why Spurs fans have been frustrated with the major sports network throughout the years.
Even in their glory days, the Spurs frequently didn't seem to get the attention they deserved. Luckily, most of the fanbase and certainly the franchise itself couldn't care less. Still, getting national attention, no matter where it comes from, can only be positive for a team looking to boost everything from ticket sales to overall performance.
After shutting them out of all national broadcasts last season, ESPN decided to throw the Alamo City a bone when they gave them a January game against the Memphis Grizzlies next year. The game will be one of five nationally televised broadcasts for the Spurs, with the other four all being on NBATV.
Seeing the Spurs on ESPN's schedule at all was a pretty big surprise to me, as they don't exactly have any huge names the network usually goes for. Although it's only one game, I consider that a step in the right direction for the national network and a bit of a win.
Wednesday afternoon, ESPN made another decision Spurs fans should enjoy: canning The Jump. The decision was likely due to fallout from Rachel Nichols' comments (subscription may be required) about colleague Maria Taylor.
While that's the headline of the story, the cancelation of The Jump also does one huge favor for the Spurs: gives us all less Kendrick Perkins in our lives. The retired center has made a habit out of routinely disparaging Coach Popovich in the last year. He then followed that up by going after Kevin Durant and Draymond Green after Team USA's gold-medal victory.
I wouldn't necessarily go as far as saying Perkins is a Spurs hater, but I don't think it's a secret that he isn't a very good analyst both on camera and on Twitter. Even worse, he tends to feed off the negative attention his takes and coverage get, which seems to be what ESPN is increasingly thriving on overall.
While I wouldn't put it past ESPN, hopefully, they steer clear of including Kendrick Perkins in their replacement daily NBA show in favor of other former players like Vince Carter or Tim Legler. Spurs fans could sure use a break from being told to carry the hell on every day. Kudos, ESPN, for making some good choices recently.