I have always been a reader, never a contributer, so I thought this would be an appropriate place to put my retrospective on the events of Sunday night. (originally posted to Facebook)
Last year I wrote at length about the anguish I felt after losing to Miami. About how the loss was hard because to me, and to many in this city, the Spurs are so much more than just a basketball team. How when we say Spurs family, we mean it. Now I get to write about happiness, about emotions, and again about family.
When the clock began to countdown the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, it all started to hit me. All the sadness and pain from the year before felt by the team, by this city, by me, it all started to be as if it never was. Multiple people around me began to say how emotional this was and the outpouring of that emotion began to manifest itself in the form of screams and laughter. Being at the heart of the city while this was happening felt like a literal wave took over everyone. We were all drowning in the euphoria.
As I ran down Commerce, celebrating with thousands of others, screaming and waiving and slapping as many hands as I could, I remembered what I had said after the finals last year. About how we, all Spurs fans, truly are a family. I don't know what creates such a unique bond for a base of fans, but it is something that no one who hasn't experienced it could understand. We were out there celebrating an accomplishment none of us had a direct part in, but yet gained so much joy from.
This is family. The people jumping up and down on cars, hugging strangers, screaming, laughing, and most of all crying. Crying because for us Spurs fans, people who live in a huge city with only one major sports team, people who face all kinds of struggles day to day, the Spurs always remain a source of hope, a source of happiness.
I know that this sustained success will not last forever. But I will never forget nights like Sunday. Nights like 1999, when I sat with my dad and ate cashews on the couch and watched Avery sink it. To hear my dad tell me, "we got it." nights like 2005, with childhood friends watching throughout the playoffs and jumping in my dad's truck at the end of the night to join in the chorus of screams downtown. I will never forget them or how fortunate I was to live through this run.
So as I walked back to my car at the end of the night, streaming through the cars stuck in an infinite loop of honking, I cried. This is why we are family, this is why the Spurs can make complete strangers become best friends. Our love for this team is strong in every single fan and on that night, Sunday June 15, 2014, we celebrated like a family.
Go Spurs Go.