Any San Antonian will tell you that the Spurs are the greatest team in the history of the NBA, because San Antonians have a lot of pride when it comes to basketball and the San Antonio Spurs. With the June 6th start of the 2013 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat, that pride is about to be amplified. Here’s 5 facts most San Antonians will let you know that you didn’t know about this great Texan team:
1. They Used to be From Dallas
Any Texan fan of basketball knows that there’s a big rivalry between the Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks, with co-workers, friends and sometimes even families caught in the crossfire. However, not as many people know this interesting little tidbit. Originally, the Spurs were Dallasites. When the team was first founded in 1967, the San Antonio Spurs were the “Dallas Chapparals”. It was only in 1973 when a group of San Antonio businessmen purchased the team and quickly changed their name to the San Antonio Gunslingers, and then almost immediately after: The San Antonio Spurs.
2. They Won 4 of 5 Championships
The Spurs have statistically been a top performing NBA team for several decades now. For one, since the team drafted Tim Duncan in 1997 the team has made the playoffs every year. Even before that, the Spurs had only missed making it to the playoffs four times since 1976. Perhaps more impressive though, is that of the five times that they have won their conference and made it to the championship game, they have won four of those with the fifth time being this year. The 2013 Miami Heat broke this trend beating the Spurs in the finals.
3. They’re the Only ABA Team to Win an NBA Championship
The history of basketball goes back several decades, but the hardcore aficionados will know that in 1976 the American Basketball Association was absorbed by the National Basketball Association (AKA the NBA). The San Antonio Spurs was one of the few surviving teams from the ABA that moved to the NBA. Again, quite impressively, of those surviving teams, the Spurs are the only one that has gone on to win an NBA Championship. I’ll bet the Heat can’t boast that, can they?
4. They’re Our Only Major League Team
Though San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States, our city doesn’t exactly have that many major league sports teams to boast about in fact, we have, well, one. Compare that to Dallas (which by most measures is a slightly smaller city), who have the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas Cowboys, FC Dallas, the Dallas Stars, the Texas Rangers… etc. When you get a city as big as San Antonio with only one team to rally around, then you know we’re going to take the sport seriously.
5. Our Mascot Got Ejected from a Game
Back in 2005, the Spurs were playing a heated game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. A Timberwolves player accidentally knocked over Beno Udrih, a player for the Spurs at the time. Another Spurs player got in a verbal fight with the player at fault, and the Spurs’ Coyote mascot began to approach the court and appeared to be challenging the Timberwolves’ mascot to a fight. The referee then proceeded to eject the mascot from the game, with most of the fans, players and coaches in shock at the referee’s decision. Regarding the decision Spurs player Tim Duncan said, “That’s the kind of toughness that we have on this team. They were afraid of the Coyote, so they had to toss him. That was incredible.”
Jon Bibb is the owner of Steamer’s Carpet Care a locally-owned carpet, upholstery and air duct cleaning business operating in the San Antonio and New Braunfels, TX areas. A native San Antonian, Bibb is a long time supporter of the San Antonio Spurs and can’t wait for them to take the championship again this year.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia