clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Happy Thanksgiving to Spurs fans

Aside from the multiple championships, fans of the San Antonio Spurs have a lot to be thankful for.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In last year's NBA Finals against the Heat, Game 4 was a rerun of Game 3 - a Spurs blow-out win.  And because it was a repeat (but without the suspense - Miami never made a run), I wrote a blog entry entitled "Reruns", with all the negative connotations.

In essence, Game 4 could be considered boring, even for those of us on the "winning side".  I closed out the Game 4 blog with the following:

I taped last night's game, so I could play in my own game from 7:30 - 9:30{PDT}. On the way to the gym, I stopped in a store to pick something up. Also in the store was Rudy Tomjanovich, former Houston Rocket and Los Angeles Laker coach (and great player). I said "Hi, Coach!" (Ex-coaches are still called ‘Coach' just like ex-heavyweight champions are always called ‘Champ'.)  As I walked out, not knowing the score of the game (I was taping it and in a self-imposed media blackout), I wondered why Rudy T, a basketball lifer, was not watching the game. Today I figured it out. He had probably watched the first quarter and could tell that the Spurs were going to win -- and decided to go to the store for something to eat for when he went back home to watch Gilligan Island reruns.

Fast forward to last month.  I went to the local driving range to hit a bucket of golf balls after work.  In the stall next to me?  Rudy T. Rudy was hitting the ball much further than I was.

When we both took a break from hitting, I asked if I could talk to him about something.  I told him he wouldn't remember me or our brief meeting during Game 4, but something bothered me.  I wondered after our meeting why the great Rudy T, a basketball lifer, was not even watching an NBA Finals game. Was he no longer interested in NBA basketball? He laughed about it,said that he still has all his passion for the game, and indeed still consults with the Lakers - but that he can't stand all the commercials during the game.  He was in the store during last year's Game 4 because he was doing what I was doing:  taping the game for later.

I asked if he had been rooting for the Spurs, and he said yes.  He also said that everything he has heard about the Spurs, including from Rudy T's former Rockets assistant Jim Boylen (now with the Spurs), was that the Spurs players and staff are really "good people".

Not all fans cheer for teams that are comprised of "good people".  Not that long ago, Patriot fans were rooting for Aaron Hernandez, Eagle fans were rooting for Michael Vick, Raven fans were rooting for Ray Rice.  Next baseball season, New York Yankee fans will have to decide whether to boo or applaud A-Rod who's returning from a drug ban. In the NBA, until this summer's events, Clipper fans knew their team was owned by Donald Sterling, and had to hold their nose knowing where their ticket money was going.  Laker fans previously had to deal with Kobe Bryant's rape allegation in Colorado - at times, he would fly back from court appearances in Denver in order to play in that night's playoff game.

These problems extend even into the colleges.  The best player on defending national champion Florida State is still the subject of an ongoing sexual assault inquiry, and was arrested on other charges over the summer.  University of North Carolina athletes have recently  been charged with skating on their classes for years.

Especially in light of everything going on in the sports world, I loved to hear Rudy T's comments about the team we all root for.  He used the words "good people".  Among all the things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, the list includes the ability to cheer on a Spurs team that is a group of good people.  Not everyone can say that, but we can. Happy Thanksgiving, Spurs nation.