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Now that the San Antonio Spurs have cakewalked to their fourth NBA championship in nine years, it's time for Denver Post columnist and resident psychic Mark Kiszla to tuck into a big helping of crow.
Way, way back in April, the Denver Nuggets shook up the smart money by snatching the first game from San Antonio in their playoff opener. The ever-bombastic Kiszla seized the moment to all but dismiss the Spurs as contenders, proclaiming them "too thin, too gray and too vulnerable to be considered real threats at all." Even after the Nuggets stumbled to defeat in the second game, Kiszla was still playing the homer: "All of San Antonio realized the beloved hometown team is going to need all the help it can get to survive the Nuggets in this best-of-seven series."
Of course, the geriatric Spurs went on to dump Denver in three more straight, without even breaking a sweat. Then came the Suns, the Jazz -- and Cleveland in a sweep. Kiszla has taken plenty of razzing from Spurs fans but still manages to exude an odor of sour grapes: "In my book, the Spurs don't deserve to be NBA champs," he wrote recently. "It's not what you deserve, but what you can get away with."
Really? With four championships since 1999, the Spurs enter a dynastic elite. Only the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls have a more impressive string of titles. And Kiszla has entered a special group, too; not since Jay Mariotti suggested that the Broncos should trade Elway in order to win a Super Bowl has a local sports guy made such a complete ass of himself. Mariotti has gone on to greener pastures, and if God is merciful, maybe Kiszla will, too. After all, it's not what you deserve, it's what you can get away with. – Alan Prendergast