The moment Spurs fans had been waiting for since the once Dallas Chaparrals had moved down I-35 and joined the NBA. A dollar could buy you a lot in those days.
The kicker for the win was
(a) the NBA had set up and rehearsed the trophy ceremony before the game in the event the Spurs won. What hadn’t been planned was Jeff Van Gundy and there Knicks coming down to practice and having to wait to watch the rehearsal signaling their demise. Fans talk about elimination games, but the Knicks were face to face with losing on their home court...and then they did.
(b) the shot clock was broken and Avery Johnson was using the clocks on the floor. In a few instances, he turned and saw the clock on the opposite side of the court which gave him a different vantage point in planning and executing.
(c) the Tim Duncan talk was no longer hype, he was the real deal and the world had to acknowledge (and still must acknowledge) that one of the most mild-mannered and soft-spoken players the world has ever known is a bad mother trucker.
(d) Avery Johnson hit the game-clinching shot. Let that sink in. You have Tim Duncan and David Robinson in your starting line-up and two of the biggest shots of the postseason belong to Sean Elliott and Avery Johnson. Maybe that’s where the “over yourself” Spurs mentality started.
Either way, a one-point win was what it took to hoist the Larry O’Brien for the first time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reliving the Spurs five title runs as much as I have enjoyed rewatching and posting. Time to start hyping up our new draftees and getting ready for Vegas Summer League.
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