Super Bowl-bound Patriots, business-like Spurs both command respect

The New England Patriots‘ charter jet touched down for 51 with the usual cacophony. Love them or hate them, there is simply no ignoring them.

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According to myth, reputation and deed, and either hung the moon or blot out the sun. Go ahead, admit it. The Imperial Death March from “Star Wars” probably storms through your brain every time they take the field for China jerseys and an opening kickoff.

The Patriots embody just about everything packed into the word empire — power, ownership, durability.

Meanwhile, a three-hour drive down the road from Houston and the wall-to-wall hullaballoo, the continue to use the service entrance to the throne room for a regime and lineage that seems to go back to the Dark Ages.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder roll into San Antonio tonight (8:30 ET, TV), they will be facing a Spurs team that keeps right on wearing the image of a gray flannel suit that came straight off the rack.

The Patriots will be attempting to win their fifth Super Bowl title in franchise history on Sunday. The Spurs are relentlessly churning toward a chance to win a sixth NBA championship this spring.

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The Patriots have already completed an unprecedented 14th consecutive season of winning at least 10 regular season games. The Spurs are on course toward extending their NBA record of 50-win seasons to 18 in a row.

While the Patriots are still one down in the ring department, the Spurs have never won back-to-back.

Does a dynasty by any other name or method smell as sweet?

“I consider the question irrelevant because it’s somebody else’s term for greatness,” former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy once said. “You could put whatever word on it you want as long as it speaks to their greatness. Sustained greatness is the hardest thing to achieve in any walk of life. And that’s exactly what the Spurs have stood for.”

Along with the Patriots. They are about the team’s , not the stars. They beat the bushes to turn up talent that nobody else can find or see. They are coached by snarling, brilliant coaches who don’t care what you think of their jerseys wholesale.

What the two franchises also share is an overriding sense of paranoia that nobody beyond the borders of their home region likes them, not even in the hierarchy of their respective leagues.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who punished Brady for “Deflategate” this season, will have to overcome the perception in some corners that he’ll be wearing an jersey under his suit if and when he has to present the Lombardi Trophy to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Warriors #35 Kevin Durant Blue Throwback The City Stitched NBA JerseyBrooks guided Washington to an Eastern Conference-best 12-4 record during January as the Wizards climbed into a tie for first place in the Southeast Division. Washington went 7-0 at Verizon Center to extend its home winning streak to 15 games, tied for the second-longest run in franchise history. The Wizards closed the month on a five-game winning streak, which included victories over the current Atlantic Division leader, the Boston Celtics, and the Southeast co-leader, the Atlanta Hawks. Brooks’ team held opponents to 43.4 percent shooting from the field, the best mark in the NBA.

Kerr led the Warriors to an NBA-best 12-2 record in January, with Golden State losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime and falling to the Miami Heat after Miami guard Dion Waiters made a tiebreaking three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left. The Warriors led the NBA in scoring (120.3 ppg), assists (30.6 apg), field goal percentage (50.9) and point differential (14.1) for the month, which included wins over the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers, the and the LA Clippers. On Jan. 23, Kerr and his staff earned the honor to coach the Western Conference All-Stars in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game after clinching the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 5.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month were Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, Boston’s Brad Stevens, Indiana’s Nate McMillan, the LA Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra and Philadelphia’s Brett Brown.