When I fell in love with the Spurs

by | Feb 19, 2021 | Opinion, Southwest, Spurs | 0 comments

So many of us have the DNA linked tendency to root for the teams in our geographic locations around this great country of ours, the good old USA. As the title tells you, I am a lifelong San Antonio Spurs fan, although, I am a native New Yorker (Buffalo) and my first love was the now defunct Buffalo Braves way back in the 1970’s. Now before you assume that I’m long in the tooth, I was a child in the 1970’s! Moving right along, just when I really started to get heavy into the relationship, the Braves up and moved to San Diego, being renamed the Clippers. Huh? “What do the tools of the barbering trade have to do with basketball? ” my 11 year old mind asked.

Ironically, I only learned that a clipper is a water vessel after, dig this, I was in the US Navy stationed where? San Diego! But the divorce was still on because they took my hero away from me, the late, great, Randy Smith. He was a hero that us kids could literally touch here in Buffalo. He played basketball, soccer and, ran track at Buffalo State College where he was an All American in every one of those sports (a little tidbit for y’all)! So, as I searched for a new relationship, I saw this one guy and it was love at first basketball sight. Growing up, I was a skinny, kinda athletic kid. I wasn’t as physically developed as some of my friends and so I had to compete in any sport the best way I could. I was a gamer but, not gifted.

It Started with Ice

One day it was raining out and I was confined to the house. A game came on television, it was the San Antonio Spurs (who were in the Eastern Conference at the time) versus the New York Knicks. What the heck, I’ll tune in. As I watched the game, one player stood out more than the others. He was thin as a rail, didn’t look strong, didn’t look quick but, he was a treat to observe. He shot with both hands, jump shots and lay ups. It got better, he could handle the ball, he could defend and, he had this UNSTOPPABLE shot, a finger roll. Yes, my new hero was now George “The Iceman” Gervin! That was 1978, and I never looked back. Everything I did from that point on was “Gervinesque”.

My summer league that year basketball team had twelve players on the team, the jersey numbers were from 1 to 12. Since Ice wore the number 44, only number 4 would do. But, another kid named Greg (good ball player) wanted it. The coach said to “play one on one up to 5 and whoever wins gets the number“. To wear just one of the numbers of my new idol?

I dusted Greg, 5 to 2!

So all through high school, he was my man and they were my team. I had to be the only kid in the city that was a Spurs fan. The Lakers, 76ers, Celtics, Knicks (although Bernard King was my man, in secret!????) were the usual suspects but, the Spurs were everything to me. To show how Ice and me were cosmically connected, when I went to my Navy boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, Ice got traded to the Chicago Bulls!

It All Came Together

After Ice left, there were many lean years. Then all of a sudden an Air Force Academy graduate became the coach, Greg Popovich. Then a gentlemanly Naval officer was chosen by the Spurs, yes, Mr. David “The Admiral” Robinson. Things started to change. Then a quiet kid out of Wake Forest was selected by the Spurs, the “Bahamian Smoothie” Tim Duncan. It was on like UNDERWEAR at that point! Add Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Sean Elliott and a host of others, and this lifelong, devoted Spurs fan FINALLY got his multiple championships!

Isn’t life great?

Well I am happy to announce that I am still in love and yes, it is until death do us part. ❤️

Do you have a story about your favorite team? Why do you bleed purple, or green, or blue? Let us know. thePeachBasket was created to be the Voice of the Fan! Every fan has a story. What’s yours?

Mike Hicks
Written by Mike Hicks