Sideshow

Watching the San Antonio Spurs in their first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies is like going to see the Egyptian Pyramids: you can still recognize them, but they’re nowhere near as impressive as they were in their heydays.

Guard Manu Ginobili is losing his hair. Forward Tim Duncan has been the shadow of the shell of his old self the past two seasons. Even guard Tony Parker’s French accent doesn’t carry the same allure that it did at the peak of San Antonio’s power.

Sure, they were good enough during the regular season — especially the first half of it — to earn the top spot in the Western Conference, but it was understood that the Lakers were still the favorites to reach the NBA Finals.

Now, they’d be considered lucky to make it out of the first round with their dignity intact. Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph and center Marc Gasol have played the roles of playground bullies, dangling the Spurs by their ankles and shaking the lunch money out of their pockets.

The ride was fun while it lasted, but it’s almost time to bid farewell to these old Spurs and listen as they jangle their way out of contention for the next few years.