I am San Antonio Spurs
I just cannot help myself. My NBA Team of choice is the San Antonio Spurs.
Logically, I would be a Golden State Warriors fan, because when I am in the States, I stay most of the time in Daly City, which is just a 45-minute train ride to the Oracle Arena across the Bay.
It is the team whose games I watched live the most, because of its accessibility, the assurance of getting a good seat at a reasonable price.
This was before the present Stephen Curry phenomenon.
Today, the prices of tickets to a Warriors game must have rocketed to the heavens, and if you want to watch a game live, the only seat you can get would probably be the last row in the bleachers, where all players would appear to be of the same height.
Or I should be a Laker fan, where a Fil-Am, who is proud to be known as one, is lording it over in the team’s back court.
If you still do not know, he is Jordan Clarkson, who has expressed his willingness to play for the Philippine National Team. If Gilas has to take out a naturalized citizen so that Jordan can play, so be it. I am sure his presence would have a bigger impact on the competitiveness of the national team.
But for some reason that I cannot remember anymore, I have never been a Laker fan, to the consternation of my brother-in-law, who swears by the LA Lakers, just like a die-hard Barangay Ginebra fan.
It was probably because, in my younger days, I was a Boston Celtic fan due to the influence of my father, whose idol was Bill Russell. So, in the series of NBA championships that the Lakers and the Celtics had, my father and I always rooted for Boston.
Back to the San Antonio Spurs.
I can still distinctly remember when the love affair began.
I was passing away the time in a new mall in Cagayan de Oro, where I was able to watch the seventh game of the championship series between the Spurs and the Detroit Pistons. I can still distinctly remember the 3 point shots of Robert Horry that helped them win the NBA Championship.
The real reason why I love the Spurs is because of Manu Ginobili. I am a fan of the great Argentinian because of his basketball skills and also because of being the first non-American who is able to become a member of elite in the NBA.
This was strengthened when I realized how great a person and a player Tim Duncan was. His last class act was retiring without any fanfare.
And of course, I do not think very few would disagree that Greg Popovich is probably the best among the active NBA coaches. I do not know if you have noticed it, but watch how Pop has reincarnated the game of Pau Gasol.
Probably among the top ten basketball players in the world, since he surged into the limelight playing for the Spanish national team, Pau has never reached superstar status in the NBA.
Popovich has known the capability of Pau, so when the opportunity came when Duncan retired and Pau being a free agent, Popovich grabbed the opportunity, and very few are missing the play of Tim Duncan.
Popovich gives each of his players inside the court a role.
Watch how Pau Gasol is given the role which makes him display all his skills. Something which his other coaches were not able to draw from him. This is one of the major reasons why the San Antonio Spurs are hounding the Golden State Warriors in the current NBA season.
I do not know how long I will remain a Spurs fan.
Maybe when Manu finally hangs up his sneakers, or Coach Popovich retires from the rigors of coaching an NBA team in order to prolong his life, or when Pau Gasol goes back to his native Spain after a distinguished NBA career.
Till then, I will be a San Antonio Spurs fan.
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