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Sorry, but I did not get much joy out of watching the San Antonio Spurs lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sure, the Spurs had tormented the Suns for years, seemingly always being in the way of every legitimate championship run during the Steve Nash era (you know, except for that one glorious time the Suns swept the Spurs. That was fun).

And yes, it would have been somewhat painful to see the black and silver hoist another Larry O'Brien Trophy -- their 5th -- while the Suns are still searching for numero uno.

But the demise of the San Antonio Spurs at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, due as it may have been, signifies the official fall of the Western Conference's "old guard," of which the Suns were an integral part.

The only difference is the Spurs -- along with the Lakers and Mavericks -- actually got something to show for their efforts.

Maybe, when looking at the big picture, that's the real shame in all of this.

Were the Suns good enough at any point of the last 8 years to win a title? Absolutely. Did they suffer some bad luck? No doubt. Was their failure to win a title largely their own doing? Unfortunately, yes.

Which makes watching the Thunder -- a young team who has done it right virtually every step of the way -- is arguably as rough as watching the Spurs. They're young, fun to watch and good. They're the Phoenix Suns, circa 2004-05.

Oh, what could have been.

Oh, what used to be.

Ugh, what is on the way.

Most can agree the Suns' glory days, whether Steve Nash sticks around or not, are over. No more "Making Basketball Fun Again," no more ":07 Seconds or Less," no more "Eyes on the Prize," no more Trophy Guy. They are rebuilding, which is a process that can be slow, frustrating and tedious.

It's also necessary, for seemingly everyone but the San Antonio Spurs. And that's why, while no one will say Suns fans should have been rooting for them, they should feel a bit of sadness watching them go home once again. For as long as Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Popovich were at the top, Suns fans could always feel a bit of jealousy anger towards the best the NBA had to offer.

There was a rivalry there, and even if the Suns rarely came out on top, it was intense, fun and real.

The Spurs were floppers, whiners, dirty and evil. Hell, they're really still all those things. But it doesn't matter anymore, because they are also done.

The Spurs are no longer the class of the Western Conference; the Suns are no longer relevant in the Western Conference.

Neither fact is worth celebrating.

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