TrashTalk, Spurs record attendance at Alamodome!

They did it! On the 50th anniversary of the Spurs franchise coming to San Antonio, the Texas club managed to bring 68,323 spectators to the Alamodome to break the all-time record for an NBA game. The trash talk was there. A great story from inside this mythical room.

By Brieux Férot in San Antonio

It’s late on a Thursday night. The city is quiet. A long giant train siren – 80 cars – tears through the night. A few meters away, trucks arrive with an eclectic load. The scene in this huge hangar, the Alamodome, an American football and concert venue sandwiched between a freeway and a railroad, has a taste of the 90s. The Spurs lived there from 1993 to 2002, in a very large room, then it was cut down. half of a large sheet. A unique fact that didn’t stop them from building their first winning campaign in the NBA in 1999 against the Knicks. They later joined AT&T – 18,581 seats – 3 miles away, where they managed to win 4 other NBA championship titles.

It’s a no-brainer to say that this Friday, January 13th, was pre-celebrated by the entire city in the middle of a complicated year in sports terms: 13-29 before the league’s smallest payroll. a young man remotely and in all training positions, but also socially: with 8 mass shootings and 21 deaths in Texas in 13 years, a preseason marked by the need to heal the wounds of the May 2022 ‘Uvalde’ tragedy, several dozen from San Antonio mil. Some of the team’s pre-season work has been moved there, with plenty of practice time open to children and families. “With Spurs, we do not win the championship every year, we continue to train young talents and start to achieve new successes on the field, but the most important thing for me and the public is that the dynamic of the club is contagious: we are very proud of this team on and off the field. »

The speaker is the mayor of the city and receives in his office. Ron Nirenberg, a supposedly progressive, unlabeled, but committed city to the Paris climate agreement when President Trump vehemently opposed it for the country. The first city councilor sees this festive evening as the culmination of a social process where sports victory is no longer enough: “Spurs is the gold standard of sports franchises and I am very proud that the club represents the city of San. Antonio, also international. “If a franchise has an impact that goes beyond the city itself, the fact remains that it doesn’t have the same impact as other sports dynasties. In September 2021, the mayor “blocked” Drake on Twitter and announced it because the signed collection Ovo – a Canadian brand – released jackets dedicated to the great dynasties of the NBA, completely forgetting about the Spurs, but integrated into this prestigious list. … New York Knicks!

On this holiday, it’s mostly American families singing Spanish and reggaeton through the open windows of cars arriving at the Alamodome. Four very long queues form from 2.30pm under the bright sun. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker jerseys, as well as David Robinson rub shoulders with Bruce Bowen, Devin jerseys. Wassel or the legend George Gervin. A lot of “Coyote” jerseys, the NBA’s craziest mascot, were also collected. The security cordon with a gate is a kind of entrance to a huge amusement park: a stage on the esplanade, built for the occasion, as well as an inflatable basketball court, a sculpture stand on a ball, a souvenir truck and numerous photo calls. First outside the Alamodome, then inevitably inside, the smells of weed collide with the smells of tacos, popcorn, and other frozen margaritas!

At the center of the building is a reconstruction of the Spurs’ cramped locker room of the era, head coach Poppovich’s room with its obvious tactical plans, as well as the players’ room, all in very ’90s detail in front of a Gatorade. Admiral shrugs with a picture of his reading… Mondial Basket. There are 5 titles on display in the room and it’s a long time for their portrait to be taken as a family. Avery Johnson hangs out with young fans who ask him to sign their shirts on the advice of their dads. Suddenly there was a noise: Chef Curry arrived and began his routine, hooded and merciless.

Steph Curry Spurs Alamodome

Sean Elliott is set to comment on the meeting: “I arrived early today and the atmosphere is electric, there’s a lot of love going on, half the town is mobilized, I think it’s going to be really loud. Like a rock star, when Manu Ginobili chooses to hide in the locker room, Tony Parker crews and kids, dozens of people, come courtside to the delight of cheering fans: he obviously decided to hide in the locker room. room during an intense shoot on the big screen after being cheered by many “Manuuuu’s” that shook the walls. Physical. Spirits rose as the teams returned to the locker room after chairman RC Buford circled the hosts Warriors and cheered their past glories one by one.

A more formal arrival of the warriors, for the entertainment of the day, is simply a hoot and a wash. With a smile. But without mixing. The warm-up takes place in the crowd, where everyone is looking for their place, before the countdown begins: then the room is plunged into darkness, lit only by the lights of smartphones. The powerful bass then creates waves of light: “No, you ready for it? One of the Spurs’ greatest watches of the 90s was Tre Jones, who was selected by the team to perform. “I think it made them laugh, and then I think I slowly became one of the leaders of this team! “, he will hold a press conference in the evening. Its purpose? A few murmurs and above all “Go Spurs Go!” start military operations. After that the match can start.

Alamodome Spurs fans

Game? The superiority of the Warriors was at least not a surprise as the difference in intensity on the part of the Warriors was noticeable from the first seconds of the match, in rhythm, systems, rotations, whatever. The big armada, led by Steve Kerr, who cheered before the start of the match, is getting stronger. Break to forget – two jumps; nameless ugliness. What was expected to be a tough first quarter immediately extinguished all hope, with the lead ballooning to 4-8 to 4-18 within minutes. Although a Coyote, who is at work on a mini-motorcycle around the entire field, is already sighing. Song of the day? “Defense! though that’s not the Texans’ specialty this season. Romeo Langford tries to catch the house at the beginning of the match, Spurs have to apply violence to limit the attacks of the Splash brothers at the end of the first quarter (28-33). The second quarter ended with Draymond Green raising his arms to the sky after laying down on a counterattack. In the first half, we saw a fan electrifying the room with his dunk, TP happy to be cheered, Tre Jones growing in confidence, and the Spurs taking the water (-14, 60- 74 at halftime). Played by the unlikely duo of the 90s urban hip-hop group, the picaresque Tag Team, halftime never rests.

The rest of the game is one-sided. Chef Curry’s airball gets a standing ovation, Zach Collins and Draymond Green collide so the video can’t really decide between them. A new Splash Brother duo was born in the guise of Donte Divincenzo and Jordan Poole, who would finish the match with 25 and 22 points, respectively. The second half, with Becky Hammon and Tony Parker debating non-stop, ends with a flash counterattack with a fierce dunk by André Iguodala, and some fans leave the court late in the evening to slide as Isaiah Tony tries to collect something at the same time. a few minutes to demonstrate. Still, Tre Jones, head coach of the day, would finish as the Spurs’ leading scorer with 21 points. The final score is 113-144 and there is a difference of 31 points. Fireworks upside down.

Therefore, the day’s main record attendance is 68,323. This will be announced by Admiral Robinson, who, after 5 minutes of consecutive “ola”s during the last quarter, received a monumental ovation when he landed. Yes, let it be. Two more “records” that reflect the difference well during this meeting: 8 players + 10 points for the Warriors, a first in the era of Steve Kerr, and very bad news for the Spurs: these 144 points in the bag are the most points conceded by the Spurs in 354 games at the Alamodome. The progeny of Curry jerseys are also very present in the spans, so he got his revenge.

One last unison Mexican tune ends before families join the stage set up outside for a 100% ’90s set. “The fans finally appreciated Gregg Popovich more than us, laughing at him at the press conference. We understand why they (the Warriors) became NBA champions, they did the things they should have done better. “Was Spurs bothered by the stands? “No, no, our job is to focus on the basketball court. For Tre Jones, the popular fervor remains the event of the evening: “Traffic jams, mobilization in the streets: no other city with an NBA team could do it on this scale,” he concludes. . Now with 20 points and plenty of confidence, Tre Jones thinks he’s “one of the leaders” of a leaderless team. If Doug McDermott is the only one who thinks he’s really shaking – “Seeing all these legends – Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Avery Johnson, Sean Elliott, David Robinson and Becky Hammon – in the stands, it really stressed me out.” knows well: “The Spurs fan base is beyond anything you can imagine. “The elementary school coach even came to see him for this game, but he didn’t get to meet him. In the end, a tough loss in front of so many relatives? “It hurts me more that I haven’t played the off game,” he said.

Outside, from the park of the city’s architectural emblem, the Tower of the Americas, fireworks are set off in front of this huge room, which will now be the scene of an evening of sharing and smiles. And a tribute: offered by the city to the incredible talent of Gregg Poppovich and his team, who allowed each of the players, coaches and fans who crossed their paths to reach their maximum potential. . If San Antonio were a Catalan city, the Spurs would still and always be branded “more than a club”. They always remain an inspiration for the country and the league.

Photo credit: Brieux Férot

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