I say it that way because I was 6 years old and neither knew what was actually happening in the USA at that specific time nor did I know what basketball as a sport itself was. All I saw was that 6 foot 6 inches tall guy handling this ball with such grace and elegance before driving to the basket and laying it in and a few minutes later that same guy sprinted to that same basket and threw it down like it said something bad to him. That moment, that feeling I had was what made me fall in love with this game for the first time and it hasn't stopped since.
That guy whose name was Michael Jordan, that man and his passion and style sucked me into this sport like a light attracting a moth. After that it just started for me. I lived in a medium sized town in south Germany in the 90s - where at this point I still live - so watching basketball on TV wasn't easy and even getting to know stuff about the game either because with no internet and almost no coverage of the NBA outside of the Playoffs, I had to search hard for anything basketball related.
So of course I had to watch the movie "Space Jam" since my favourite player was MJ and it was a possibility to stay in touch since it was one of the very few chances to see him play in any shape or form. But even though there weren't many chances I still loved this game and even though we didn't have that much money one day when I was 8 years old my mom got me my first basketball, I got to a playground in front of a school, sat down and watched some older guys play, but I was shy so my mom had to ask them if I could play with them. I hadn't really shot the ball often before, but could dribble and after I hit my second shot attempt - it was a bank shot from the top of the key - and these older guys who probably played many many games before called me a "natural" my love for this game grew and grew.
But since none of my friends really wanted to play with me and I still was a shy kid the chances to play weren't really there that often, so I played every time I could but not really regularly.
Fast forward to my first years in high school - or 'Gymnasium' as we call it here - I met a kid that liked this game even more than I did, of course we became friends and he told me everything he knew about basketball and the NBA. At this point the coverage of the NBA was still mediocre in Germany, but there were magazines and our own league that alleviated the pain a little. But since I found a friend who loved this game as much as I did, I could play more often. So for many years I played almost every day, at one point 4 hours a day over the summer, but never really thought about rooting for a team and since Jordan retired I had not really a player to root for.
So one day, it was before the 2002-2003 season started my friend who was a big Pistons fan, because he liked the game of Ben Wallace, said I had to pick a team that I could root for in the NBA. So he brought the newest issue of our favourite basketball magazine that had a preview of the upcoming season and a little description of all the teams in the NBA. I read through the little articles and was kinda intrigued of the teams I saw, but after searching through them one thing caught my eye. "That is a cool logo, which team is that?" I said after I browsed through the magazine "The team's name is the 'San Antonio Spurs', they have a good team actually" my friend replied.
After reading about them in the magazine I had to watch them, so I tried to find out if there was a game on TV and to my surprise they were showing highlights of the regular season, so I watched and waited til they showed some highlights from a Spurs game. I saw Tim Duncan and David Robinson, those huge guys passing to one another and making sweet bank shots or some nice dunks and thought "wow they are actually pretty cool" and at that point I knew I could root for them.
At first David Robinson was my favourite player - which is now Tim Duncan - I don't know why but I just loved his passion and his style of play. Unfortunately the coverage of the games was still poor, so I only got the chance of watching two playoff games in the 2003 playoffs, one against the Lakers and one against the Nets and since the coverage got even poorer since then I didn't had the chance of watching any games - til in the last couple of years thanks to the league pass - but my fandom and love for the game and this team never died.
Since those early days of my love for the game and the Spurs I got the chance to watch and experience some beautiful basketball like in the 112-77 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals 2014 that I saw yesterday, the Tim Duncan era may end in the near future and Manu and Tony may not play forever, but I will always love this team even though it was just because I liked that logo that U with a spur at the bottom.