Kevin Prather’s wonderful piece on his near-encounter with Manu Ginobili got me to thinking about some of my own encounters with Spurs. Some have just been spottings, like David Robinson at the Bill Millers on Broadway, or Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford entertaining training camp prospects at a Corner Bakery.
Others have been via standing in line for autographs, like Bruce Bowen after the 2003 championship or Avery Johnson at a book signing. However, if I had to pick one completely accidental encounter with a Spur that is the most memorable to me today, it would have to be Malik Rose.
Back in the early 2000’s, Rose was about to open his own authentic Philly cheesesteak restaurant in the Quarry Market in San Antonio. My sister and I were in high school at the time, and we were hanging out at the aforementioned mall when we walked past his restaurant location. The doors were open, and the interior was complete but yet to be furnished.
Right as we passed by, Rose popped up from behind a counter, waived and told us to come in and take a look around. Of course we did, and he showed us the kitchen and menu, asked what we thought of the place, and gave us a hug as we left. We were two very happy teenagers that day (too bad cell phones with cameras weren’t a big thing yet), and while we had a few other encounters with both him before and after that because he was eveywhere, this was by far the most memorable and showed what a nice, approachable guy he was.
To that end, I legit wanted to cry and even briefly hated Pop when he traded Rose back in 2005. He was the ultimate hustle player for the Spurs who always gave 110 percent, and for those many reasons he will always be one of my favorite Spurs of all time.
So what is your favorite encounter or near-encounter with a Spur (or anyone else)? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
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