Hey PTR: This is my first Fanpost. I've just registered an account after reading the blog for over a couple of years, seeing it transform to the sleek website we know now. I came to PTR from Project Spurs and 48 Minutes of Hell, which are good blogs in their own right, but lack the community and quantity/quality of posts that Pounding the Rock provides. Thanks for the memories, and here's to hoping there are a ton more. The following post is for the NBA Wired contest, which I'm pretty excited about. I also hope creating an account will lead me to be more active in the community. Thanks for reading.
As a young 'un growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, there weren't any pro teams that I could root for around the area. San Antonio was the nearest city with a true professional team, our beloved Spurs. Beginning after their first championship in 1999, a young boy fell for his first team. Franchise cornerstone, David Robinson, along with first overall pick and fellow Twin Tower, Tim Duncan, anchored the defense and led a small-market team all the way to the top. Even in a lockout-shortened season, they were able to put up a great winning percentage and win it all that year, and could have won more if not for a certain Lakers team that stopped them, from their 0.4 second shots to just plain Shaq and Kobe. But apart from all the Spurs shortcomings (Manu fouling Dirk in Game 7, Memphis ousting them in Round 1 and last season's collapse in the Conference Finals) they have kept rebuilding around their Tim Duncan, one of the greatest players ever. I still remember writing a paper in middle school about who my hero was. Without that much thought, I immediately jotted down Tim Duncan, as he exemplified everything I wanted to be: successful, humble, funny, and most of all, a winner. Coach Popovich and General Manager R.C. Buford have kept the boat afloat throughout many changes, the rise and fall of almost every star in the 2000s, (except for Kobe, who seems to be from the same ageless world that Tim was born in) and won more championships since 1999 than anyone else without a hard salary cap (cough cough Lakers). Brilliant drafting (Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Luis Scola, Tiago Splitter and Nando De Colo) has helped them on their way, along with shrewd free agent draws (Stephen Jackson, Bruce Bowen, Michael Finley and Robert Horry) who provided clutch play in crucial situations. With usually 'boring' appearances in the playoffs, the Spurs became firmly entrenched as the team that would stress me out on a daily basis after their win over the Pistons in 2005, one of the best 7 games and possibly the most back and forth series I have ever seen. Tim Duncan played well as always, but Manu and Robert Horry took the team to a level above the great team that Detroit was at the time. I remember Manu (and his long hair!) moving like a magician, stealing the ball and leading fast-breaks, somehow making those crazy layups. Horry saved their asses multiple times, especially his performance in Game 5, with the series tied at 2 apiece. His timely 3 pointers and amazing dunk in OT allowed the Spurs to sneak out of a LOUD Detroit arena with a win. That game made me a Spur for life.