I arrived in the US (New York) in June 2005. I knew very little about the NBA but I had no friends in the city and needed something to keep me busy during lonely evenings. I decided that the NBA finals were a good way to spend a few hours and I got hooked. I watched every single minute of the Spurs-Pistons series. By French national atavism, I supported the Spurs, of course.
After 8 years in New York, I am about to leave the US for new adventures elsewhere. So it’s my last American June. I temporarily live just a few blocks away from the apartment I lived in when I arrived, I am walking the same streets to the office in the same exhilarating morning weather and, in the evening, here they are: Pop, Manu, Tony and Tim are on my screen fighting for another trophy with some new silver and black family members. Can’t avoid having the feeling that I went through a full cycle!
Yet, many things happened in this 8 years cycle. The basketball illiterate I was learned what a fadeaway jumper, a screen, a backcourt violation or a zone defense are and also knows old players are likely to only play limutes in either the FIGABABA or theSEGABABA. Over these 8 years, I realized that the team I decided to support out of patriotic boredom/curiosity in 2005 is actually the incarnation of all I like in team sports: a wise front office managing cleverly a small budget, a smart and charismatic coach respected by his players, a group of great players with a real team mentality. The list could go much longer: the Spurs have it all. And now, after a 6 year drought and with a 37 yo Duncan, they even reach that stage where I feel that I am on the verge of witnessing one of these rare sports legendary moments. I could simply say that at the end of this personal cycle, I am no longer a guy who likes the Spurs because it is Tony Parker’s team. I became a guy who likes Tony Parker because he is a Spurs’ player!
I have seen the Spurs play hundreds of time on a tv/computer screen and I attended their away wins against the local Knicks (and recently Nets) but I was a bit sad to close that cycle without having discovered the city they brilliantly represent and watched them play at home.
Luckily, during that cycle, I also met someone who will follow me into the next, whom I converted to a (more occasional) Spurs fan and who decided that this could not remain on my to-do list. She bought us tickets for games 4 and 5 of the Finals. So San Antonio, here I come. And, I don’t want to ask for too much but watching a couple of wins would be… what’s the word?…AMAZINE!