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How to raise a Spurs fan

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The greatest organization in sports keeps values at its core.

First of all, I cannot take full credit for my daughter’s interest in the Spurs, but I know the seed was planted. For those who don’t know my story, I predicted the outcome of the 2014 NBA Championship immediately after the 2013 Championship ended. I made the prediction in the name of my unborn child who would learn the values of teamwork and selflessness in a world where both are seriously lacking. We packed our Brooklyn apartment, moved to San Antonio, and when the Spurs hoisted the Larry O’Brien on Father’s Day 2014, my world was at peace.

Throughout the entirety of my daughter’s four years, she has shown very little interest in basketball. That’s okay, I knew she’d come around. And this season it happened. She has a classmate whose dad plays for the Spurs and once she saw him on TV, she became curious enough to watch the games.

As we started watching together, she’d point out players she knew, and then she’d ask, “Daddy, who’s that?”

“That’s Manu.”

“Ah, Manu. He’s number 20. And who’s that?”

“LaMarcus.”

“LaMarcus is number 12.”

Pretty soon, she knew all the players’ names and was commenting on their play. The gear followed. She started wearing her Spurs shirt, then insisted on picking mine so we could match, and then we went full twinsies when we got the custom Spurs shoes.

The crescendo was taking her to her first Spurs game last month. It was perfect. We went down and watched the shootaround, grabbed some dinner, and made our way to our seats. The tip off went to the Spurs, Kyle Anderson made the first shot, she gave me a high-five, we hooted and hollered, and the Spurs slaughtered the Orlando Magic. I have never seen her bypass her natural shyness so much as she did when joining 18,000 people clapping and cheering at the top of her lungs. I carried her out of the stadium on my shoulders and felt a connection that I have heard many describe when talking about their children.

Soon after she asked to go to another game and we took her on Easter to see the Spurs host the Houston Rockets and guess what — it was SPURS BY 17! The Spurs are 2-0 when my little one is in the stands. And once again, my world was at peace.

Watching the game through the eyes of a four-year-old is so much more forgiving and exciting than my old eyes allow. She simply roots for the good guys and doesn’t take it hard when they come short. She asks lots of questions and so far, I have all the answers. It’s the perfect father-daughter date and a new tradition has evolved.

Every season just before the playoffs, I go buy myself a good luck Spurs charm. A t-shirt, a mug, a basketball — something to show support and acknowledge the Spurs journey. Last Friday, my daughter saw a Spurs lanyard at the store and convinced my wife to let her buy it for me. She was so excited and I was touched. On Saturday morning, when I went out to hang the Spurs flag in front of our house before Game 1, she asked if she could help.

Raising a child in line with the values that emanate from the Spurs organization and having the support of an entire city who share the same beliefs and passion has been a wonderful bonus to moving back to my hometown.

This Sunday, the Spurs leave it all on the hardwood. 48 minutes of glory. But no matter the outcome, my girl and I will be sitting side by side cheering on the San Antonio Spurs.

GO SPURS GO!


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